Radford University creates new College of Nursing
February 12th, 2024

Radford University announced Friday that the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia recently authorized the school’s new College of Nursing.

Radford is the only public institution in Virginia to have a such a separate college, according to a university news release.

The change had also been approved by the Radford University Board of Visitors.

The college is led by interim Dean Wendy Downey and has locations in Radford and Roanoke.

“This is a monumental achievement

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for the College of Nursing in a 50-year history where we have been part of a college, but never as one dedicated solely to nursing,” Downey said in the release. “Numerous alumni and emeritus faculty have told me, ‘This has been a long time coming.’”

Radford University College of Nursing
A College of Nursing student practices measuring a student’s heart rate.

Radford is placing the profession of nursing and nursing education at the level of prestige it deserves and giving it far-reaching significance, according to the release.

“At Radford, we have embraced the responsibility to prepare a healthcare workforce that will improve outcomes for patients across our region and the entire commonwealth. The enhanced commitment of resources and new model of governance that the College of Nursing benefits from will further advance our university and the communities that Radford-educated nurses serve,” said the school’s president, Bret Danilowicz.

Said Provost Bethany Usher: “Creating a College of Nursing as a free-standing unit showcases our high-quality nurse education programs, and the value we place on educating nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College will be able to grow and attract faculty who want to be at the nexus of scholar, educator, and practitioner. In the College of Nursing, students will get focused teaching and advising that help them become well-educated and sought-after professionals.”

The Radford nursing program’s charter class of 11 students graduated in 1973, and since then, nursing has expanded its academic offerings to include degrees in bachelor of science in nursing, master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certificate, according to the release.