University of Virginia School of Nursing

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University of Virginia School of Nursing
DeanDorrie K. Fontaine
38°01′53″N 78°29′56″W / 38.03139°N 78.49889°W / 38.03139; -78.49889Coordinates: 38°01′53″N 78°29′56″W / 38.03139°N 78.49889°W / 38.03139; -78.49889

The University of Virginia School of Nursing, established in 1901,[1] is a school of nursing education. For more than one hundred years, it has been at the forefront of nursing education, service, and research. It has an enrollment of approximately 681 undergraduate and graduate students, and is consistently rated in the top 5% of Nursing schools in the United States.[2] The dean of the nursing school is Dorrie K. Fontaine.[3]


The School of Nursing was founded in 1901. In 1928, the first baccalaureate nursing program in the South began at the University of Virginia. Men were first admitted in the 1960s. The first nursing PhD program offered in Virginia began at the School of Nursing in 1982, and in 2008, it became the first facility in Virginia to offer a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) degree- the terminal degree for nursing clinicians.[4]


The School of Nursing offers a variety of options for attaining a nursing degree.[5]


  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    • The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is a four-year undergraduate program, offered for both traditional entry students and second-year transfers from a traditional undergraduate program. Students are expected to begin clinical coursework in their second year, and to complete rigorous coursework in pathophysiology and pharmacology; both of these requirements are over and above the scope of traditional BSN programs. Admission is highly selective; only 9% of applicants for the 2008 second-year transfer program were accepted.[6]
  • RN to BSN Program
    • The RN to BSN program is a uniquely tailored curriculum for students who are graduates of community college and hospital schools and are licensed registered nurses (RN). The program consists of a one-year full-time option that can also be completed in a two or three-year pattern. Recognizing the experience an RN possesses prior to admission, RN to BSN students are individually assigned to work with a faculty advisor to create a plan of study to best meet their own personal academic and professional goals.[7]
  • Third Year Transfer to BSN
    • The Third Year Transfer to BSN program is a five-semester long program that enrolls students who have completed two years (55-60 credits) of college level work before transfer, either from a four-year institution, or from a two-year community college or associate degree program. Applicants who are accepted for transfer will enter the School of Nursing in the summer session.[8]


  • Master's of Science in Nursing
    • The Master's of Science in Nursing is an Advanced Practice degree that trains Registered Nurses to take a more direct role in patient care and managing care plans. The University of Virginia offers MSN degrees in a variety of specialties- including four that are nationally ranked in the 95th-99th percentile of all graduate schools nationwide.[9]
  • Post-Master's Programs
    • Post-Master's Programs are geared towards individuals already possessing a Master's of Science in Nursing, and train them to assume the roles of clinician, educator and researcher, as well as clinical consultant and clinical leader. Emphasis is placed on providing the student with the advanced theoretical knowledge and practice skills needed to function in increasingly complex care settings across the care continuum. Evidenced based practice, outcomes management, clinical research, and advanced clinical decision-making are also emphasized. Post-Masters Programs are offered in a variety of specialties.[10]
  • Doctoral (PhD and DNP) and Post-Doctoral Programs
    • The School of Nursing offers two doctoral programs in nursing to prepare expert clinicians and practitioners, as well as nursing scientists and researchers, to expand nursing knowledge in this new century in Nursing leadership and faculty roles. The DNP program, in particular, focuses students to become leaders with expertise in specialty practice who can utilize research evidence to effect practice change, as opposed to the more theoretical approach of the PhD program.[11]
  • Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL)
    • The Clinical Nurse Leader program prepares individuals already possessing non-nursing bachelor's degrees to become masters-level nursing generalists, and prepare to direct care at the unit level. This could be direct care in an inpatient hospital unit, in an outpatient environment, or in a public/community health setting.[12]

Affiliations and accreditation[edit]

The School of Nursing is a member of the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree programs of the National League for Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Southern Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing of the Southern Regional Education Board. The school is nationally accredited, and approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.[1] The School of Nursing is also the sole American nursing school to participate in Universitas 21, with exchange and research programs set up with the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

The School of Nursing has become a national leader in rural health care research. It is the first and only school of nursing in the country to be funded by the National Institute for Mental Health to create a Center in rural mental health–-the Southeastern Rural Mental Health Research Center.[13] It is also home to the National Institute of Health-funded Rural Health Care Research Center. Faculty and students volunteer in the yearly Remote Area Medical Health Clinic in Wise, Virginia, a free emergency medicine clinic that sees thousands of patients a day for three days every July.[14]


The School of Nursing is ranked in the 95th percentile of US nursing schools, tied in 19th place overall of 448.[15] Four graduate nursing programs are also rated in the 95th percentile- Psychiatric/Mental Health (#5), Clinical Nurse Specialist-Adult/Medical-Surgical (#6), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (#12), and Family Nurse Practitioner (#16). It is currently ranked as the best school in the United States for doctoral student-authored [16] by the National Institute of Health.[17] Approximately one-third of the School of Nursing's full-time faculty members hold national nursing Academy fellowships.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Message from the Dean". University of Virginia School of Nursing. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
  2. ^ "UVA School of Nursing Reports Record Enrollment in Fall 2007" (PDF). University of Virginia School of Nursing. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
  3. ^ Graves, Betsy (2008-04-25). "Fontaine selected to lead Nursing School". Cavalier Daily.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Academic Programs". University of Virginia School of Nursing. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
  6. ^ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program
  7. ^ Undergraduate RN to BSN Program
  8. ^ Third Year Transfer to BSN
  9. ^ Master's of Science in Nursing Programs
  10. ^ Post-Master's Programs
  11. ^ Doctoral Programs
  12. ^ Clinical Nurse Leader program
  13. ^ "Southeastern Rural Mental Health Research Center: Mission and History". Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  14. ^ Otto, Mary (2008-11-09). "Hidden Hurt". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
  15. ^ US News and World Report, Top Nursing Schools, 2007.
  16. ^ National Research Service Award
  17. ^ National Institute of Health.

External links[edit]