CSM, UMSON Partnership to Meet Needs of Hospitals

November 4, 2015    |  

Registration for dual admission in the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) and the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) Associate of Science in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program is open through Dec. 1 for the spring semester. Graduates of CSM’s nursing degree program, as well as current nursing students, can apply for the program and register for Web hybrid courses scheduled for the spring 2016 semester.

CSM and UMSON, with financial support from the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance, teamed up to provide a seamless transition from the Associate of Science in Nursing to a BSN degree. This pathway to a higher level of education for nurses will help hospitals to meet the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing goals.

Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing

Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing

“The 2010 Institute of Medicine report [on the future of nursing] said that by 2020, 80 percent of our nurses need to hold a baccalaureate degree or higher. Baccalaureate programs in this country can’t meet that target; we can only meet it when we embrace and welcome these opportunities to partner together between associate degree and baccalaureate education,” said Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of UMSON.

“This support from the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance will help build enrollment and offset associated costs as we continue to implement our dual admission program with the College of Southern Maryland,” said Kirschling.  “We truly appreciate the Alliance’s contribution and partnership that will help us achieve our goal of increasing the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Maryland.”

The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance has provided $135,000 in funds to cover the first-year costs of the program. Funds will be used to hire a CSM nursing faculty and dual admissions coordinator who will also be designated adjunct faculty at UMSON. This will allow students to take the UMSON’s BSN courses at CSM’s La Plata Campus rather than commute to Baltimore. Funds will also be used for marketing, and program supplies and materials.

“I’m so grateful to the Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance for funding the program’s startup costs,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “We are fully committed to helping more nurses and nursing students from Southern Maryland enroll in a BSN program and take on the kind of collaborative health care team leadership expected of nurses today. This generous support from the Alliance will help the region’s nurses advance their education, which will undoubtedly produce better care and better health outcomes for the residents of Southern Maryland.”

UMSON and CSM signed a dual admissions agreement in April that allows students to apply to both schools simultaneously and progress through the nursing program satisfying requirements of both schools. Dean Kirschling and Bruce Jarrell, MD, FACS, senior vice president and dean of the Graduate School at UMB, took part in signing ceremonies with CSM officials in La Plata. 

“This partnership is so important to our region because it means that nursing students, as well as practicing nurses, can continue to work in Southern Maryland while they pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and meet the needs of area hospitals,” said CSM Health Sciences Division Chair Laura Polk, PhD, RN, CNE.

“This agreement is the culmination of two years of planning and determination,” said Noel A. Cervino, president and CEO of University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC). “This will offer opportunities for our nursing workforce to access a broader scope of educational opportunities and allow us to continue to attract and retain highly skilled nurses at UM CRMC. We are grateful for the vision of past CSM Board Chair Mike Middleton, Dr. Perman, Dr. Jarrell, and Dr. Kirschling for forging the agreement and to my CEO colleagues at Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance — Christine Wray, MedStar Health, and Deane Teague, Calvert Memorial Hospital, for funding this endeavor.”

Practicing registered nurses (RNs) with an Associate Degree in Nursing, as well as current and incoming CSM nursing students, can apply for dual admission to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing at UMSON. In addition to transfer credits for completed coursework, UMSON will award students 30 credits toward their BSN degree upon verification of an active RN license. BSN coursework can be completed through Web hybrid courses taught on-site at CSM by UMSON faculty members.

Dominique Tecson, 23, of Waldorf, anticipates that the dual admission program will have a huge, positive impact on her nursing career. Currently a licensed practical nurse at Inova Fairfax Medical Center, Tecson has been working toward an associate degree in nursing at CSM with anticipated graduation this winter.

“I believe that the completion of the RN-to-BSN program will benefit me by building on top of my skills and knowledge in order to become a better nurse. With my foundation from CSM, I’m looking forward to completing additional nursing education through the University of Maryland School of Nursing, to be able to deliver more effective patient care with evidenced-based practice.”

 The deadline to apply to the dual admission program is Dec. 1. Admission requirements include a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) with a science GPA of 2.75. Once accepted into the program, students will be able to register for NURS 450: RN to BSN Transition: Implications for Practice, Policy and the Profession.

 “These are great opportunities not only for our nursing students here at CSM, but for registered nurses working in Southern Maryland to take advantages of these programs in their own backyard making it more convenient and more accessible to advance their education in obtaining the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and meeting the needs of area hospitals and populations served,” said Dr. Michael Walls, CSM faculty member and dual admissions coordinator.

For information on the CSM-UMSON dual admission program, contact Walls at


The Chesapeake-Potomac Healthcare Alliance (Calvert Memorial Hospital, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital and University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center) was formed in1994 to advocate for Southern Maryland healthcare policy and improve access to care for the region.

The University of Maryland School of Nursing, founded in 1889, is one of the oldest and largest nursing schools, and is ranked sixth nationally. Enrolling more than 1, 700 students in its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs, the School develops leaders who shape the profession of nursing and impact the health care environment.