For Immediate Release

Contact: Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court-Meridian Health School of Nursing Offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

University Joins with Meridian Health to Train Nursing Professionals to Stem Shortage

Lakewood, N.J., May 20, 2008—The New Jersey State Board of Nursing just approved the new Georgian Court -Meridian Health School of Nursing to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (B.S.N.) this fall on the Lakewood campus. The announcement follows approval of the degree by the New Jersey Presidents’ Council.

“The need for nurses across the state and in our local communities is acute,” said Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D., university president. “We’re glad that we can now offer a B.S.N. program to help meet that need and give our students access to a respected, rewarding, and well-paying career.”

President Jeffries said that nursing is a perfect fit with Georgian Court University’s core values. “Those who practice nursing practice our core values of compassion, respect, service, and integrity,” she explained. “Our goal is to graduate students who can bring these values to their professions and make a difference in the world. Nursing is another avenue to make that happen.”

Recent studies indicate that the number of new nurses—graduates from diploma, associate, or generic (i.e., four-year) programs—in New Jersey needs to triple each year from the current 2,000 to 6,000 to prevent the nursing shortage crisis predicted for 2020. And nationwide, there is expected to be a demand for nurses that exceeds the supply by almost 1,000,000 nurses by 2020.

“We looked at the numbers for Georgian Court University’s primary service area,” said John Lloyd, CEO of Meridian Health, the largest employer in Monmouth and Ocean counties and the region’s premier health services provider. “The expected shortfall is nearly 600 nurses a year—and this would be every year unless we are able to educate more nurses,” he continued. “Georgian Court will help us better meet the demand and make sure patients in our area will get the excellent nursing care they need and deserve.”

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program at Georgian Court
The ideal candidate for the nursing program is a high school graduate who has earned a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and grades of “B” or higher in Biology with lab, Chemistry with lab, and Algebra I. For a full listing of requirements, go to

The total number of credits for graduation in the B.S.N. program is 129—64 of which are nursing courses. During the freshman year, students will mostly take general education and natural and social science prerequisite courses. The proportion of nursing courses increases each year.

Joseph Gower, Ph.D., GCU provost, said that Georgian Court is perfectly suited to provide the much-needed nursing graduates for the region. “Georgian Court has a strong tradition of educating students for service professions from social work to education,” he says. “We already have a number of health-related programs, a new science facility, and a wellness center.”

Georgian Court’s labs will be enhanced with additional equipment for the nursing program, such as hospital beds, a patient care simulator, a mobile cart for medication preparation, and intravenous access models.

Much of the clinical coursework will take place at Meridian facilities. “GCU nursing students will also be taught in Meridian Health’s learning laboratory with a state-of-the-art environment for the practical application of clinical skills in a simulated health care setting,” said John Lloyd. “They will be rotated across Meridian’s continuum of care at acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home care settings, and hospices.”

GCU Nursing Program Open Houses
Nursing scholarships are available for those who qualify. To learn more about nursing at GCU, call 800.458.8422, ext. 2700 to sign up for an information session on Tuesday, June 3, or Tuesday, June 10; both will be held from 4:00–7:00 p.m. in the North Dining Room, Raymond Hall, on the Lakewood campus located at 900 Lakewood Avenue. For additional information, visit

About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.

About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a family of not-for-profit health care organizations comprised of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Partner Companies that include home care agencies, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and occupational health services located throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Meridian Health’s centers of excellence include cardiac care and surgery, orthopedics and rehabilitation, cancer care, and women and children’s health. Meridian Health is the regional provider of trauma services and cardiac surgery, which has been ranked as one of the top programs in New Jersey. Meridian Health was the first health organization in the nation to achieve the prestigious Magnet designation for its nursing staff at each of its partner hospitals and has been named one of the top “Best Places to Work in New Jersey “by NJBIZ magazine.

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