New GSW College of Nursing and Health Sciences Restructures Health and Wellness Programs

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

After two years of preparation, Georgia Southwestern State University’s School of Nursing began the transition to become the College of Nursing and Health Sciences on February 1. This restructuring will bring all health and wellness programs under the same college, including nursing, exercise science and wellness, and the most recent long-term care management program.
“This new alignment will facilitate our ability to recruit, advise, and retain highly qualified students who want to pursue health and wellness careers,” said Dean Sandra Daniel, Ph.D. “While the nursing degrees are well established, this restructuring will enhance the visibility of other health focused degrees offered at GSW.”
Nursing is among one of the top majors in the country and admission is extremely competitive. Each year, GSW’s Nursing Program brings in over 100 applications while only a portion of these can be accepted. Organizing health and wellness programs under one college will allow students interested in health care careers to investigate multiple degree options and move from one degree to another more seamlessly.
This change will also bring Leisa Easom, Ph.D., to the College as the new Associate Dean. Easom currently serves as the Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. “Dr. Easom is a nationally renowned expert in the field of caregiving,” said Daniel. “I have full confidence that our new long-term care management degree program will undergo substantial growth very quickly as a result of the expertise that she brings in this field.”
Daniel also hopes the restructuring will appeal to prospective students and those considering the Guaranteed Acceptance Program in high school. “This change represents a commitment to this region and our state to provide degrees that meet their specific workforce needs,” noted Daniel.
“We’re excited to see what growth and opportunities the College of Nursing and Health Sciences will provide our students,” said GSW President Neal Weaver. “Health care plays a very important role in our society and I’m proud to say GSW is helping prepare the next generation in these service-oriented professions. I’m eager to watch our graduates move on to become successful physical and occupational therapists, doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals.”
Many of the top health care organizations in the region employ GSW nursing graduates, including Phoebe Putney Health System, Columbus Regional Health, and Navicent Health.