Abigail Zimmerman has completed her element to assist suppress COVID. The University of Mary Washington senior vaccinated dozens of Fredericksburg location citizens as a medical center volunteer this spring.

Rileigh Ecker '21 earned her BSN degree through the 1+2+1 program, one of three BSN tracks that are part of the partnership between UMW, Germanna Community College and Mary Washington Healthcare. Photo credit: Courtney Morgan Photography.
Rileigh Ecker ’21 acquired her BSN diploma via the 1+2+1 application, a single of three BSN tracks that are section of the partnership in between UMW, Germanna Local community University and Mary Washington Healthcare. Picture credit history: Courtney Morgan Photography.

“It was 1 of the most satisfying encounters of my lifetime,” reported Zimmerman, a UMW nursing scholar. “I know I’m in the suitable place, positively impacting the lives of persons all over me.”

In the midst of a world wide pandemic and crucial nursing scarcity, her selected career is essential now extra than at any time. 3 pathways, provided by UMW in conjunction with local community companions, are aiding aspiring nurses remedy that connect with. Just one of these tracks even gives college students like Zimmerman the possibility to live on campus, while getting clinical working experience and completing coursework infused with the liberal arts and uniquely developed to notify their occupations.

The pandemic modified how culture views nurses, claimed UMW Director of Nursing Janet Atarthi-Dugan, who oversees all three pathways, made feasible as a result of agreements with Germanna Group College (GCC) and Mary Washington Healthcare (MWH). The tracks, fashioned in 2015, also include a BSN completion program for current registered nurses and a person that supplies a seamless changeover for community college students organizing to transfer to Mary Washington.

“Nursing is not entirely about compassion and holding arms,” Atarthi-Dugan claimed. “Today’s nurses are functioning collaboratively with medical professionals even though taking care of acutely ill individuals. They need to have to be educated and prepared for swiftly shifting individual statuses.”

Mary Jane Bowles, who coordinates MWH’s New Graduate Residency Software, described the partnership as a “visionary group collaboration.” Paired with the Germanna nursing program, “UMW’s BSN diploma is a get for college students, as it is a single of the very best nursing systems in the condition,” she reported. “The blend positions UMW graduates for leadership after graduation.”

UMW nursing students, who live and learn together in a cohort in the 1+2+1 program, take a selfie together outside Mary Washington Hospital after their last clinical rotation in the spring. Photo courtesy of Abigail Zimmerman.
UMW nursing pupils, who live and understand jointly in a cohort in the 1+2+1 program, acquire a selfie alongside one another exterior Mary Washington Healthcare facility right after their past scientific rotation in the spring. Image courtesy of Abigail Zimmerman.

MWH Main Nursing Officer Eileen Dohmann agrees. Learners who comprehensive this system, she mentioned, are better geared up for the vital and complicated choices they face every working day. Almost two-thirds of MWH nurses already have a BSN, Dohmann included. Yet another 15 percent are in the process of earning 1.

UMW pupils choose courses like anatomy and physiology, but what really sets the application aside is a wholesome dose of the liberal arts. Lessons like Clinical Ethics, Crafting Scientific tests and Therapeutic, and Loss of life and Culture get ready newbie nurses to deal with sophisticated health-related concerns and boost patient results, Atarthi-Dugan stated.

“As a nurse, it is unavoidable you will get rid of sufferers,” Zimmerman reported. “Learning about dying as a purely natural system pressured me to consider about how I would manage these situations.”

The monitor she’s completing, termed the “1+2+1 software,” allows learners invest their freshman year satisfying conditions at UMW and GCC. During several years two and 3, they entire the RN diploma and medical ordeals at Germanna – even though having to pay local community higher education tuition prices – right before finishing BSN diploma necessities at Mary Washington. Most UMW nursing classes are on the internet, so a lot of students also get the job done at nearby hospitals throughout their closing yr.

In addition, UMW delivers opportunities for pupils past what they’d come across in traditional nursing programs. Lyka Ante ’20 analyzed overseas, treating underserved communities in Panama and Peru. Zimmerman performed all four many years on the UMW women’s soccer group.

The pandemic hampered some actions like medical ordeals, Atarthi-Dugan said, but nursing college students contributed having said that they could. Sophomore Aubrey Guerra, for illustration, tracked COVID scenarios at the College. “People who clearly show indications are frightened,” she mentioned. “It was our job to make them come to feel at ease, safe and sound and informed.”

With the latest will need for nurses, UMW grads land work opportunities at MWH, Inova Overall health System, Sentara Healthcare and past.

Soon after operating full-time at Stafford Hospital her senior calendar year, Rileigh Ecker ’21 became a pediatric psychology nurse at VCU Children’s Hospital in Richmond. It is a path she wouldn’t have considered devoid of the liberal arts classes she took at Mary Washington.

“I’m so grateful for UMW and the doors it opened for me,” Ecker stated. “Besides my schooling, the independence and courage I found there organized me for my initial year of nursing through a worldwide pandemic.”