Director Brings Expertise to Nursing Completion Program
Dr. Pamela McCullough has a nearly 35-year nursing career, a focus on patient-centered care, and a passion for the liberal arts. In 2013, she took the helm of the University of Mary Washington’s new bachelor of science in nursing completion program, which began in the fall 2014 term. The program was designed for registered nurses who have graduated with an accredited associate’s degree or nursing program diploma.
“Continuing your education to the bachelor level makes you able to see a more global picture of healthcare,” she said. “You are looking at populations instead of individuals. You are learning how to think using different models. It’s exposure to different ways of thinking.”
Dr. McCullough pointed to recent studies that show patient outcomes are improved when at least 80 percent of nurses hold bachelor’s degrees.
“Not only does the employer want it, but there is an advantage for the individual,” she said. “[The curriculum] focuses on how to think outside the box.”
As an undergraduate, she started out as a theater major, then started her nursing coursework. Those connections between the liberal arts and healthcare drew her to UMW’s program.
Dr. McCullough, herself a registered nurse, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, and credentialed in nursing education, wants the degree program to be a good fit for working nurses.
“I want to make it flexible and individualized,” she said. “Some nurses will want to go fast and some will go slow. I want to adapt our program to meet their needs.”
Along with the higher-level nursing courses, the curriculum will include courses which allow nurses to make connections between their everyday situations and the liberal arts disciplines. Courses include writing arts, medical ethics, and higher-level sociology/psychology courses.
Dr. McCullough has lived in the Fredericksburg area since 1998. Most recently, she spent more than two years as the nursing program director at Stratford University in Woodbridge. She also spent a decade as a certified pediatric nurse practitioner in the Fredericksburg area.
Dr. McCullough received a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and post-master’s certificate from the Catholic University of America, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Old Dominion University. She completed her doctoral capstone project at UMW’s Student Health Center from 2009 to 2011 and is credentialed as a pediatric nurse practitioner (CPNP) and a certified nurse educator (CNE).
For more information about the program, please contact Dr. McCullough at email@example.com.