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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Objection Filed about Loyola’s Proposed Nursing Program

Enrique Muchacho

Loyola University Maryland’s proposed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is facing a potential setback in its approval process.

According to an email released by the Office of the Provost on Tuesday, Oct. 3, Notre Dame of Maryland University filed an objection to the Maryland Higher Education Commission against the proposed program.

Dr. Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, claims that Loyola is working through the objection.

According to Dr. Moore-Thomas, the Notre Dame objection was multifaceted, with concerns about the consistency of the program with Loyola’s mission and that the program would cause harm to the Notre Dame nursing program.

“We at Loyola believe that our program is fully aligned with the Jesuit-Catholic tradition and will not cause harm to Notre Dame. We believe the critical state of the national and local nursing shortage demands that we as an educational institution meet that higher aim and respond to the social need that we must answer, in this specific case to help provide qualified nurses to the critical workforce shortage,” she commented.

Moore-Thomas claims that Loyola is planning to lay out in a clearer argument how their program will align with Loyola’s values and provide data as to how it will also not harm Notre Dame’s nursing program through their enrollment process and targets.

According to an article on the Loyola University Maryland webpage, the nursing program is intended to address Maryland’s nursing workforce shortage and will be in partnership with Mercy Medical Center, which will provide placements at their Baltimore campus as well as other resources and support.

“The four-year undergraduate BSN program would begin to be integrated into Loyola’s curriculum during the 2024-25 academic year and would be available for new incoming Loyola undergraduate students in the Fall of 2025,” the article said.

While Loyola does hold other health programs as part of their academics, Maiju Lehmijoki Wetzel, Director of the Pre-Health Programs at Loyola, claims that the new bachelor’s program will directly prepare students for a nursing career.

“The BSN program will be different from all the other health programs because the other programs are preparatory programs for graduate degrees. For instance, pre-med would prepare to apply for medical schools, pre-PA prepares for applying to physician assistant programs. But the Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing, the program will be a pre-license program,” Wetzel said.

In terms of academic goals, the nursing program builds from the same value as Loyola’s pre-health programs, which connect to Loyola’s commitment to service as well as strong academics.

“How we will differ is that it will have direct professional courses within the program. Other pre-health students take the science courses, humanities courses, and build their foundation to allow students to learn skills in their direct field. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing will help students learn to be nurses, in terms of pediatric context, adults, public health, mental health, the different stages of nursing and more as they learn necessary leadership skills,” Wetzel said.

The program’s connection to Mercy Medical Center is fueled by their shared history as mission-driven institutes committed to Baltimore, and Wetzel claims that the BSN program would build upon that further. 

“Our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program builds upon a commitment to Baltimore. We want to prepare students to be citizen nurses, nurses who engage as citizens and do impacting and serving a community on a professional level, as well as hoping they take those leadership roles in their field work as well as their community,” Wetzel said.

The program courses range from a variety of subjects that include mental health promotion, core courses in fundamentals of nursing and health assessment, stages of life from prenatal to older adult nursing and health assessment, according to Wetzel.

“Right now, that is now in our proposal, and we will start promoting it once we get the acceptance. Additionally, those are examples of direct nursing courses along with strong natural science courses, chemistry, biology, statistics. We will offer the same core requirements as others, but it will build from the core of such courses,” Wetzel added.

Despite the objection, Loyola is still hoping to welcome its first BSN cohort in the fall of 2025.

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  • S

    StacieOct 22, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    Sincerely hoping Loyola will be able to implement the BSN program by 20205. I think it would be a huge asset to their already stellar majors offered.

  • D

    DavidOct 19, 2023 at 12:49 am

    This was a well written article full of facts and quotes. Thank you for this well thought out news!