Davis & Elkins College is pleased to announce an exciting new addition to our academic offerings. Beginning with the entering class of students in the fall of 2019, we will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN). The BSN will be in addition to our two-year associate degree in nursing (RN) and our online RN-to-BSN program.
The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses has approved our new program for up to 30 students per class. This means that eventually we could enroll a maximum of 120 BSN students representing the freshmen through senior classes. When added to our other two nursing programs, the number of D&E students in this opportunity-rich and growing field can easily approach and exceed 200.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the anticipated need for nurses in the U.S. is expected to grow by 16 percent. Within West Virginia, the growth is expected to be equally as significant at more than 20 percent. Today’s nursing graduates have no problem finding a position. In fact, they often have multiple offers from which to choose. Responding to the need in our region and beyond, D&E has taken action to do our part to meet the demand.
The existing nursing program at Davis & Elkins College is one of high quality. I am always appreciative of comments from administrators at Davis Medical Center and other health care facilities who report of the high quality of our nursing graduates. D&E graduates make up a sizable percentage of local nurses. To demonstrate the academic rigor of our program, graduates are required to take a comprehensive exam called the NCLEX following the program’s completion, but prior to entering the nursing field. For a nursing program to retain its accreditation, 80 percent of graduates must pass the NCLEX. For the past two years, D&E’s pass rate has been a stellar 100 percent! This pass rate is a credit to our nursing faculty who are passionate about their vocation and obviously prepare their students to be top-notch professionals. With our new BSN program, we look to build upon this solid record of success.
For the past nine years, Dr. Threasia Witt has served on the D&E nursing faculty and was named chair of the Division of Nursing in 2016. During this time, she has served many roles including professor of nursing, coordinator of the RN-BSN online nursing program and simulation lab coordinator.
Dr. Witt, who recently announced her retirement at the conclusion of this academic year, has done an outstanding job. I thank Threasia for her excellent work and wish her well in the next chapter of her life’s journey.
On January 1, 2019, we welcomed Dr. Huixin Wu to serve as our director of nursing and lead the new BSN program. Dr. Wu received her doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh and was previously a faculty member of Chatham University in Pittsburgh. She brings a wealth of experience both in the clinical setting and the classroom, and we are optimistic that the coming years will see significant growth for our health science programs under her leadership.
Davis & Elkins College continues to Lead the Way in many areas, and I celebrate the strength and growth of our nursing program to meet the needs of patients within this region and beyond.
The journey continues….