University of Virginia
The Rotunda at U.Va.
School of Graduate Nursing
General Information  |  Master of Science in Nursing  |  Masters Program Description  |  Post Master's Program  |  Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing  |  Course Descriptions  |  Faculty
Facilities and Resources
Cooperating Clinical Institutions and Agencies
Advising and Counseling
Financial Information
Financial Aid

General Information

Nursing has been one of the professional disciplines of the University of Virginia since 1901, when a three-year diploma program was first offered to high school students under the aegis of the University of Virginia Hospital and the Department of Medicine. Today, as one of the 10 independent schools of the University with a full-time faculty of 50 and an enrollment of 500 undergraduate and graduate students, the school offers the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, and, as a department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing.

The first baccalaureate degree in nursing, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education, was offered in 1928 for the first time through the School of Nursing Education in the Department of Education, made possible by an endowment of $50,000 from the Graduate Nurses’ Association of Virginia in memory of Sadie Heath Cabaniss, Virginia’s outstanding pioneer nurse. The purpose of this degree program was to train registered nurses for teaching, supervisory, or administrative positions. The present baccalaureate program was established in 1950 as a four-year course, with a curriculum consisting of a two-year academic concentration followed by the two-year nursing major. In 1953, a Department of Nursing was established to administer the diploma program and the two baccalaureate programs: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education. Three years later, in 1956, this department became the School of Nursing. The Master of Science in Nursing Program, initiated in 1972, currently offers specialty preparation in community health/public health and health systems management; nurse practitioner preparation in acute care nursing, primary care nursing, and psychiatric mental health nursing; and clinical specialist preparation in acute and specialty care and in psychiatric mental health nursing. The primary care nursing program prepares family nurse practitioners and pediatric nurse practitioners. The acute care program prepares clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners to function in acute care settings. A post master’s program (non-degree) prepares nurse practitioners in primary care, psychiatric mental health, geriatric care, acute care, community/public health leadership, and health systems management. Wound, ostomy, and continence post master’s preparation is also available.

The school offers two additional joint degrees: an M.S.N.-M.B.A. program in collaboration with the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and an M.S.N.-M.A. in Bioethics in collaboration with the School of Medicine, the School of Law, and the Department of Religious Studies.

The Ph.D. in Nursing Program, begun in 1982, is designed to prepare scholars and researchers committed to expanding the base of nursing knowledge. Major components of the program include nursing, research, cognates, and electives. The program is housed in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The School of Nursing, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and the Virginia State Board 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 Regional Education Board. The school was first accredited by the National League of Nursing Education in 1941 and appeared on the first list of accredited nursing schools issued by the league.

In addition to actively participating in the leading national nursing organizations, the school has an active chapter, Beta Kappa, of Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible for membership.


School of Nursing
McLeod Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0782
(434) 924-0141

Facilities and Resources


McLeod Hall Located in the eastern part of the University Grounds, near the University of Virginia Medical Center, the school occupies McLeod Hall, a modern five story building with classrooms, clinical learning laboratories, seminar rooms, and a computer laboratory. It also houses the center for Nursing Historical Inquiry, one of two archive nursing history centers in the United States. The School of Nursing draws upon the multiple resources of the University’s 10 academic divisions and the University of Virginia Health System in offering its graduate programs in nursing. The programs are further strengthened by the facilities and personnel of a wide variety of Virginia hospitals, community health centers, health departments, and private physicians’ offices.

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library This library primarily serves the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Virginia Health System, which includes the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the hospital.

The library is a modern facility with small group meeting rooms, audiovisual viewing rooms, typing rooms, microcomputers, and photocopy machines. It maintains well-developed collections of books, journals, reference materials, and audiovisual materials in medicine, nursing, and related areas.

The Health Sciences Instructional Resources Center, on the first floor of the library, maintains a substantial collection of videocassettes and other media. A variety of players, projectors, recorders, monitors, and a cluster of microcomputers are available for use in the center, and a small collection of equipment is available for use outside the center. The library also houses an extensive historical collection.

The resources in the Health Sciences Library are augmented by materials in Alderman and Clemons Libraries, the Science/Technology Information Center, various departmental libraries (e.g., biology, psychology, physics, chemistry, engineering, and law) and libraries of the departments and clinics in the School of Medicine. These libraries include special collections in historical materials in nursing and medicine.

Computer Services In addition to the computer resources available to all University students, the School of Nursing provides computer resources for students and faculty in McLeod Hall. A computer laboratory on the third floor of the building includes terminals connecting to the University mainframe computers and personal computers for data and word processing.

University of Virginia Health System The University Hospital, together with the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center, comprise a tertiary-care teaching facility with over 550 beds. Approximately 27,000 patients, from a wide geographic area, are cared for each year on the inpatient units.

The hospital provides a stimulating, challenging learning environment for graduate students. As a regional medical center, the hospital serves a diverse group of patients whose health care needs are often complex. In addition to general medicine, all major subspecialty services are available, including cardiology, endocrinology, hematology/oncology, nephrology, neurology, pulmonary, and rheumatology. Surgery departments include thoracic-cardiovascular surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics, gynecology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, and general surgery. In addition to medical and surgical units, there are a number of critical care areas: a medical intensive care unit, a surgical intensive care unit, a burn center, and a coronary care unit.

As with adult services, all major pediatric subspecialties are available to children and adolescent patients. A pediatric intensive care unit and a neonatal intensive care unit with an air-ground Emergency Transport System serve critically ill children and neonates from central and western Virginia and surrounding areas.

Over 335,000 patients are seen annually in the clinics at the Health Sciences Center. The Outpatient Department houses medical and pediatric specialty clinics. The Primary Care Center includes over 126 examining and consultant rooms, a patient education center, playrooms for the children of adult clients, and short-term beds for temporary observation. Medicine, family practice, dermatology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and the oncology service see patients in this facility.

An additional 58,000 patients are seen annually in the Emergency Room. Patients range from the non-acute to the severely injured or critically ill. Radio and telemetry communication with all local rescue squads helps to provide pre-hospital care and stabilization of patients.

The psychiatric facilities of the University of Virginia Health System include inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and consultation-liaison services. Clinics for children, adolescents, families, and adults offer a range of diagnostic treatment, consultation, and educational services, including individual, family, and group therapy on an outpatient basis.

The Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center has both an intermediate care inpatient unit and multiple outpatient clinics for children and adolescents with a variety of orthopedic and chronic conditions. The center provides medical treatment, physiotherapy, education, occupational therapy, training in the activities of daily living, training in speech and hearing, and vocational guidance. Family services are provided through psychological and genetic counseling and medical social work.

The hospital is registered by the American Medical Association as meeting hospital standards, is on the approved list of the American College of Surgeons, and is approved by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association as acceptable for the training of interns, as well as for various residencies and fellowships. In addition, the hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals.

Cooperating Clinical Institutions and Agencies


The School of Nursing cooperates with other institutions and agencies to provide research and clinical learning opportunities for students. It utilizes health departments, community hospitals, outpatient facilities, industries, schools, geriatric care facilities, mental health care facilities, and tertiary and ambulatory clinical services for patients of all ages. Students have the opportunity to function in advanced practice roles under preceptor guidance.

Advising and Counseling


Cooperation and personal attention mark the relations between faculty members and students. Each graduate student is assigned an academic faculty advisor by the associate dean upon admission to the school, and students are encouraged to avail themselves of this resource. The School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services provides assistance and serves as a source of information for other support resources. The Department of Student Health and the University Counseling Center are available to assist the student through individual and group counseling sessions.

Financial Information


Additional Expenses

In addition to tuition, fees, and expenses as outlined in chapter 2, graduate students in nursing should anticipate the following additional expenses:

Field Trips Students are responsible for expenses incurred while on field trips.

Travel to Clinical Facilities Many of the clinical facilities used in the master’s and post-master’s programs are a distance from the medical center. Transportation costs to and from these facilities must be borne by the student.

Clinical Agencies: Responsibility, Compliance and Affiliation Agreement Policy Formal affiliation agreements are executed with all agencies prior to placement of students in clinical sites to provide direct care to patients. Agreements must be fully executed and include the signatures of the authorized representative of the facility, the Dean of the School of Nursing, and the Assistant Vice President for Finance and University Comptroller. Faculty members are responsible for adherence to these agreements. Students will be placed in clinical sites only when enrolled in a credit-bearing course for which he or she paid tuition and in which participation in the clinical experience is a course requirement. This applies to all clinical experiences that require the student to have patient contact.

The faculty member placing students and the students assigned to agencies are responsible for knowing and adhering to the contents of the affiliation agreement, including its conditions and responsibilities.

The School does not provide legal advice to the student regarding whether to submit to the conditions set by the facility. The School does not pay any student costs related to the clinical experience. If the student declines or fails to participate in or complete the clinical experience and the experience is a requirement for the course, the student will not successfully complete the course and may not graduate. The student is solely responsible for the consequences of his or her decision regarding whether to submit to the conditions or requirements established by the facility.

Medical Instruments A complete set of diagnostic instruments must be procured by students admitted to the advanced practice nursing program. The cost of these instruments is assumed by the student.

Hospital Insurance The Student Health Service does not provide for the expense of hospital care. The University requires that all students carry hospitalization insurance for year-round coverage. A preferred risk group insurance program sponsored by the University is available; for an additional premium, the dependents of married students are included. Students or parents may substitute a plan comparable to that offered by the University.

CPR Certification Students are required to obtain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation for adults children, and infants prior to entering clinical courses. Certification must be maintained throughout the program, and validation must be presented each year. Students must complete the American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers course.

Immunization Titer Requirements: The School of Nursing requires documentation of a positive antibody titer for Hepatitis B, rubella, and varicella for all students who practice in a clinical setting. No student will be permitted to enroll in clinical courses without providing this documentation. Information regarding the vaccine and antibody titers can be obtained from the student’s local health care provider, district health department, or from Student Health.

MMR, TD, and PPD Documentation of current measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization and tetanus booster (TD) is required for all students. Tuberculosis testing (PPD) is required on an annual basis for all students enrolled in clinical courses.

Dissertation Completion Doctoral students are responsible for all expenses incurred in completion of the dissertation.

Financial Aid


General information regarding financial aid for all students is provided in chapter 3. In addition, there are some sources of financial aid specifically designated for students in the school of nursing. The School of Nursing Office of Admissions and Student Services provides assistance to students needing financial aid.

Fellowships A number of small grants, including duPont and Virginia State Fellowships, are available to full-time graduate students of outstanding merit in the School of Nursing. To apply for these grants, a student must complete the School of Nursing Financial Aid Form and be enrolled as a full-time student.

Federal Nurse Traineeships A limited number of federal nursing traineeships are available for full-time (nine credits per semester) graduate nursing students. These awards may include tuition, fees, and/or stipends. To apply, students must complete a School of Nursing Financial Aid Form, which can be obtained from the Office of Admissions and Student Services.

National Research Service Awards (Predoctoral) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sponsors a national program of individual predoctoral and postdoctoral nurse fellowships. The intent of the awards program is "to prepare biomedical, behavioral, and nurse scientists who will address continuing problems in health-related research of importance to the public." The student’s qualifications, the advisor’s credentials, and the merit of the proposed area of research are the primary criteria upon which awards are based. Interested doctoral students may obtain application forms from the School of Nursing Grants Administrator or by contacting the National Research Service Awards Program, Division of Nursing, BHPr, HRSA, Parklawn Building, Room 5C-26, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, (301) 443-6333.

Employment Opportunities for employment are available in the University of Virginia Health System.

Graduate assistantships are available for doctoral and master’s students. These assistantships involve working directly with faculty in teaching, research, or service activities. Assignments involve 10 to 20 hours per week of work. To apply for graduate assistant employment, students should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Programs or the Office of Admissions and Students Services.

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