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The Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing proudly celebrates

Years of Academic Excellence

November 2011

For half a century Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing has been a Richmond leader in educating nursing students. Our alumni and future graduates are committed to optimal health care, but also to our core values of compassion, respect and generosity. Take a look at how we started, where we’ve been and what we will accomplish next. But first, here’s to 50 more years of providing the best possible education for nursing students in Richmond.



The 50th anniversary represents a pivotal moment in the history of nursing education at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. After WW II, private hospitals in the Richmond area couldn’t handle the volume of servicemen returning to the area. More than 10,000 people attended the opening ceremonies when Richmond Memorial Hospital opened its doors in 1957 to serve people of all races and backgrounds, regardless of their ability to pay. It was the first hospital of its kind in the Commonwealth to allow AfricanAmerican doctors and patients equal access. The Richmond Memorial Hospital School of Nursing opened in 1961. Since 1961 we have put service at the heart of our curriculum. The more our students care about patients the better care they provide, which is why we integrate servant leadership into our nursing practice. We hope that these pages will help you better understand the history and significance of the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. And, if you’re thinking about a career in nursing, we hope as you read about the incredible accomplishments of the College of Nursing you’ll consider applying. Everyday our graduates make an impact in the care and well being of the community.

The Beginning


The original Richmond Memorial Hospital was located on the Northside on property developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Bryan. The School of Nursing had its own building and dormitory in which students lived during their studies.

Seven years after opening the School of Nursing received its first National Accreditation in 1968 from the National League for Nursing. Since then we have attained DID YOU KNOW? numerous In our 50 years we have certifications, graduated more than 2,000 making the nurses who go on to serve in Central Virginia. College of Nursing one of the premiere educational institutions in Central Virginia. We’re approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing, certified to operate in Virginia by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, The Diploma program is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

DID YOU KNOW? The nursing dorms were managed by “House Mothers.” Nearly every hour of the day was accounted for and carefully managed by the House Mothers.

1957 Richmond Memorial Hospital opened with 80 beds in operation

1964 First Graduation class

1961 School of Nursing admitted its first class of students in September

Currently, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing is seeking accreditation for the BSN Program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the autonomous accrediting arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

1973 First male student graduated from the School of Nursing

1968 School received its first National Accreditation by the NLN

Fashion Statement: The Nursing Outfit Our nursing uniform has evolved tremendously over the years yet still has a powerful effect both on the sick and those who wear it. “I remember the first time I put it on, it was like putting on the profession itself.” Beverly Franklin, Alumni, 1972 Uniform Fashion evolves and so too has our student nurses’ uniform. It began as a green and white gingham dress with a white bib and apron. (A green wool cape was added in the winter.) Since 1998, students wear blue scrub pants and a white scrub top with the College of Nursing seal sewn in.

Cap The Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing has its own cap designed by the RMH School of Nursing students. The plain, unadorned cap has a wide, white front and was presented at the capping ceremony. At the junior and senior levels, green velvet stripes were added as a symbol of promotion. Today, the wearing of caps by nurses is absent from modern hospital dress code. You might catch a glimpse of nurses wearing them during “Week of the Nurse,” an annual event held in May.

Pin A nurse’s pin identifies the school or college they attended. Our pin features the Bon Secours Fleur-delis, representing the meaning of “Rooted in the past, Standing in the present and Reaching for the future” with a “Florence Nightingale” oil lamp underneath. The light from the lamp is a symbol of hope and enlightenment provided by the care of a nurse. And ivy trails on either side of the lamp, denoting knowledge and skill. This pin is the original pin from Richmond Memorial School of Nursing (1961-1997) with the image of the Richmond Memorial hospital in the center.

1988-89 Revision of the school philosophy, “Nursing is an art and science founded upon the biophysical and behavioral sciences.”

1977 Richmond Memorial Hospital increased occupancy to about 500 licensed beds including cribs


Our Academic Excellence Our goal as a college is to prepare Baccalaureate Nurse Generalists for licensure as registered nurses and to provide a foundation to continue as a lifelong learner and servant leader. Our academic excellence begins with a stellar faculty that demonstrates daily the profound nature of nursing care and healing, compassion and professional integrity.

Servant Leaders: Missions to Haiti Our call to service is not limited to the rooms of a hospital or doctor’s office. Instead, we encourage our students to get out of the comfort zone of medical technology and physically touch and intently listen to those we serve.

Bon Secours Acquisition When Bon Secours Health System acquired Richmond Memorial Hospital in 1998 it was a natural fit for the School of Nursing to become part of the Bon Secours network as well. For nearly 200 years, Bon Secours has provided compassionate care to those in need. It started in Paris in 1824 when a group of women formed the Sisters of Bon Secours with the purpose of nursing the sick and dying in their homes.

Since 2000, the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing conducts annual mission trips to Haiti. The purpose of these trips is twofold. First, we want to continue the tradition of the Sisters of Bon Secours by providing quality medical care, with compassion, to individuals in need. Second, the students are immersed into a realworld situation where they use nursing and assessment skills to help others – without the convenience of hospitals and technology.

2000 First Mission Trip to Haiti

first try. This test is to certify

Students at the students as Registered Nurses. College of Nursing pursue one of two tracts: 1. A Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN), which is a four-year degree program. 2. The RN to BSN Online program, which is completed over 3-5 semesters.

From School to College In 2010, the school took a bold step. In response to growing evidence showing a positive connection between a nurse’s education level and patient outcomes, the school launched a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. With that degree change, the School of Nursing became the College of Nursing. The College enrolled approximately 60 students with its inaugural class, with larger classes to follow. This degree expansion shows our ongoing commitment to providing the best collegiate nursing education in the region.

The College DID YOU KNOW? extends this When St. Mary’s Hospital mission today opened in 1966 many of the by educating operating room nurses were nurses in Sisters of Bon Secours. Many a spirit of Sisters still serve as nurses and hospital administrators today. academic excellence to serve our community with genuine compassion and to the highest clinical standards. The College is deeply committed to meeting the needs of our patients and adapting to the growing, changing needs of the world in which we serve.

1998 The Richmond Memorial Hospital School of Nursing joined the Bon Secours Health System

Supporting the faculty is a state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Center where students can practice nursing skills, assessment techniques, communication skills and DID YOU KNOW? interdisciplinary collaboration in a 100 percent of our last seven graduating classes have risk-free, realistic passed the National Council setting. Licensure Examination on the

2005 St. Francis Medical Center opened

2010 100% of our students have passed the nursing board exam on their first attempt

2010 Became the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing offering a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing

2011 Expanded program offerings with an online Bachelor of Science completion program for RNs


Years of Academic Excellence

As you can see, for 50 years the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing has provided a strong foundation for servant leaders in our healthcare community. We’d like to thank the alumni, faculty and friends who have made the last half century such a success. To our current students, we look forward to all you will accomplish. And to those of you considering a career in nursing, here’s what we’re offering in the future. We hope you’ll become part of the strongest nursing family in the region.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing A highly educated nursing workforce is vital to the future of our healthcare. Listed below are just some of the steps the College of Nursing is taking to offer exceptional training to nursing students. The Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing offers an undergraduate program of study designed to provide students with the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to function effectively in all areas of professional nursing. The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) Degree offers two years of general education courses at an accredited college and two years of upper-division courses in the College of Nursing.

RN to BSN We offer an online degree completion program for Registered Nurses with an associates or Diploma to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. The nursing courses are offered exclusively online and the program may be completed on a fulltime or part-time basis. The full-time option can be completed in three semesters attending year round. The part-time option can be completed in five semesters.

Clinical Simulation Center Through a recent HRSA grant to the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, the College boasts a brand new eight-room simulation lab with several new high-tech mannequins. The patient simulation technology provides a totally new learning environment that can recreate a wide variety of health care delivery scenarios that are true to actual clinical situations. With all of these enhancements to an already world-class education, Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing will continue to produce the best-trained nurses for Central Virginia.


For more information, to connect with alumni or to find out if the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing is a good fit for you, visit www.bsmcon.edu

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Bon Secours - 50 Years of Academic Excellence  

For half a century Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing has been a Richmond leader in educating nursing students. Our alumni and future g...

Bon Secours - 50 Years of Academic Excellence  

For half a century Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing has been a Richmond leader in educating nursing students. Our alumni and future g...