Nursing, business schools create leadership program

A new program in the GW School of Nursing this fall will teach entrepreneurship and finance skills to help students become better hospital leaders.

The nursing school, the University’s newest and smallest college, is launching its first executive leadership program in conjunction with the GW School of Business to design coursework and teach classes, as GW stresses interdisciplinary studies.

Christine Pintz, director of the doctor of nursing practice program, said local employers told school officials that nurses need to solidify their business acumen to move up the ladder into hospital executive roles.

“Because of their knowledge of hospital care and nursing care, nurses actually make good executives. Many hospitals are recognizing this and moving nurses into those roles,” Pintz said. “Obviously anyone who moves into a role like that needs a bit more education and training. It’s not an easy job.”

The school will initially admit five to 10 students, mostly pulling from its existing pool of doctor of nursing practice students. Over the next year, Pintz said the school will develop a marketing and admissions strategy to expand.

Nursing officials are also working with professors in the business school to develop new finance and entrepreneurship courses to offer to the nursing students, who will join classes with aspiring CEOs and business leaders. The program will employ existing faculty, rather than adding new positions.

Administrators will likely approve the program this summer. Similar programs have cropped up recently at the nursing schools at Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina.

Provost Steven Lerman said the program demonstrated the kind of connections he has urged deans to make between their colleges. The provost has stressed the creation of interdisciplinary programs since penning the University’s decade-long strategic plan.

The GW Law School has also paired up with the business school to start programs in government contracting, while the Graduate School of Education and Human Development is working out a partnership for educational entrepreneurship.

Lerman said his office is trying to work with colleges to overcome hurdles that stand in the way of launching these kind of programs.

“There aren’t insurmountable barriers, but there are things that need to get overcome,” he said, citing issues bringing faculty together and splitting funds between schools.

The addition will also help the nursing school continue to steadily grow after starting up in 2010. Since then, the school has jumped to the top tier of program rankings, refurbished a simulation lab and doubled fundraising goals. The school, which is based on the Foggy Bottom and Virginia campuses, has also increased its enrollment and bulked up staffing.

The program also adds to the list of master’s programs at least partially housed in the business school. Under Dean Doug Guthrie, the college has added a number of executive education, online and MBA programs.

Cory Weinberg contributed to this report.

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