James Madison University

Welcome From the Department Head

PHOTO: Julie SanfordOur mission is to prepare nursing leaders to influence a changing profession, society, health care system, and world.  The students, faculty and staff in our department meet the challenge to Be the Change in our university and in society. In the face of the nursing shortage, the increasing complexity of health care and health care reform, JMU Nursing is growing and implementing strong innovative programs to prepare and equip nurses for the future.

Our BSN program graduates 120 students per year incorporating high fidelity patient care simulation into courses, including an advanced skills course. We offer a Minor in Chronic Illness with an exciting range of elective course options. Our senior level transition to practice course incorporates a review of critical skills and preparation for the NCLEX (RN certification and licensure exam).  Seniors enjoy an expanded 7-week “capstone” practicum their final semester, working side by side with a preceptor in a hospital or agency.

Our year-long BSN completion program for registered nurses (RN to BSN program) continues to grow. Designed to be flexible for practicing nurses, we offer generous portfolio credit for previous education and experience. Online classes may be taken part-time or full-time.

The Master’s (MSN) program prepares Family and Nurse Practitioners (FNP) to respond to the growing shortage of health care providers of primary care.  We also offer a Master’s with a focus on Nursing Leadership, either in Nursing Administration or as a Clinical Nurse Leader.  In January of 2014, our DNP program enrolled our first class of 10 students who will be impacting the health outcomes of our Commonwealth, region and nation.

Change is only as effective as those who lead it; and our 42 full-time and 10 part-time faculty have built the momentum and excellence of our programs. Our faculty members, whose first love is teaching, provide class-room and clinical learning experiences in a wide variety of hospitals and clinical agencies. Faculty members engage students in service learning, research, and scholarship. For example, in 2012-2013 nursing faculty and students provided over 80,000 hours of community service through projects, clinical and service delivery to local agencies. Our Nursing Student Association (NSA) regularly wins state awards for excellence and commitment to the discipline of nursing. A student from JMU has won Virginia Nursing Student of the Year 4 years in a row. In spring 2009, we achieved full reaccreditation of all programs by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Because change and excellence are dynamic, we anticipate future exciting possibilities for growth in all of our programs.  Each year our faculty engages – often with students - in a rich variety of practice and funded scholarly and service initiatives within the university and the community.  We invite you to join us, to Be the Change with the Department of Nursing - as a student, an alumnae, a friend or community partner.

JMU Nursing: The knowledge of healing, the art of caring.


  • Clarification of Comments Made in Harrisonburg Daily News Record, September 24, 2013:  Today, in the Daily News Record, a comment was made and highlighted that the Department of Nursing would eliminate the Nurse Practitioner programs at the Master's entry for practice.  This statement was made in error.  At this time, there are no plans to eliminate the Master's level Nurse Practitioner programs.  We will continue to monitor accreditation standards and requirements regarding entry to practice and will make decisions accordingly.
  • Check out the website for the Kenya trip!
  • April 23
    DC-Maryland-VA: Alumni Online Speed Networking 
  • May 9-10
    Commencement Ceremonies
    More information
  • May 20
    Richmond, VA: Alumni Networking Event
Pi Mu Nursing Honor Society