Longwood University Department of Nursing
Since 1998, there has been a growing national nursing shortage with prediction that Virginia will face a 36% deficit in the nursing workforce by 2020. Longwood University and Farmville Community partners recognized that efforts should be made to address the nursing shortage in rural, Southside Virginia.
Longwood University, founded in 1839, already provides over 100 programs leading to bachelors and master's degrees in a variety of subjects. Longwood provides the residential ambience of a small, private college with the cost benefits of a Virginia public institution. Upon careful consideration of Longwood University's existing infrastructure and after conducting a thorough feasibility study, it became clear that Longwood University was uniquely suited to provide a Bachelor of Science in nursing program (BSN).
The development of the BSN program began in 2008 when the Longwood Board of Visitors, Longwood's Faculty Senate, the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, and the Virginia Board of Nursing approved the establishment of a program of Nursing. In 2009, a department of nursing was established within the Cook-Cole College of Arts & Sciences. The first class of nursing students was admitted in fall 2009. This inaugural class graduated May 2013. In November, 2012, the Department of Nursing underwent an on-site accreditation review from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and received full program accreditation.
The Department of Nursing is housed on the second and third floor of Stevens Hall. In April 2010, construction of a clinical simulation learning center began to renovate the third floor of Stevens Hall a former science building, which dates to 1951. The Edward I. Gordon, M.D., Clinical Simulation Learning Center (CSLC) was completed in April of 2012. The CSLC is one of the newest state-of-the-art simulation learning centers in Virginia. The CSLC is integral to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and acquisition of critical thinking and clinical patient care. Simulated patient experiences will be integrated throughout the nursing curriculum beginning at the sophomore level and increasing in complexity as the students' progress to senior level clinical experiences.
The CSLC enriches the BSN rural-based curriculum and clinical practice. Community Partners enhance the clinical practice component of the nursing program. Students will have clinical experiences in acute care settings, public health, and community based agencies which will better equip Longwood University BSN graduates to enter the nursing workforce to be citizen leaders in their communities.
The nursing program has continued its development by increasing enrollment in 2014 to seventy (70) students admitted every fall. The program established the Honor Society for Nursing in 2014; established a Research Center in 2014; and accepted RN's into the RN-BSN program in January 2015. The very active Student Nurses Association increased membership to over 100 active members. The faculty are committed to continuing the depth of the nursing experience at Longwood and are now incorporating the traditional "White Coat Ceremony" in the Fall 2015.