August 8, 2003

Nursing students finish first year of bridge program

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Nursing students finish first year of bridge program

One hundred and twenty MSN students in the School of Nursing officially “crossed the bridge” to move into their nursing specialties last week, completing their first year of the nursing program.

VUSN’s bridge program allows students with at least 78 semester hours of credit, an associate’s degree in Nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in a field unrelated to nursing, to enroll at the school and earn their master of science in nursing degree.

After a year of pre-specialty nursing courses, “bridge” students can participate in the crossing the bridge ceremony and are awarded a gift of recognition from the nursing faculty.

Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, was on hand to recognize the students as they moved closer to earning their Masters degree in Nursing.

“We are unique. There are very few places that have anything even remotely similar to us. Fewer than nine percent of nurses in this country hold Master’s degrees,” Conway-Welch said.

She gave students the same advice her father once gave her, “shoot for the top, there’s more room there.”

The bridge students will have about a three week break before returning to VUSN this fall to begin their second and final year in one of the 10 specialties they have selected.