Photo of a Saint Martin's RN-to-BSN nursing student delivering a presentation
January 7, 2019

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University has received approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) to add a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program to its education offerings. Saint Martin's will enroll students into the traditional BSN program beginning fall 2019, pending approval from the Washington Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. The creation of the Saint Martin’s BSN program will help fill a void in Washington, since no baccalaureate nursing program exists between Portland and Tacoma. For fall 2019, Saint Martin’s will admit 25 first-year students for its four-year BSN program and will begin admitting upper division transfer students in fall 2020, which is in addition to its RN-to-BSN program that provides an option for nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma to complete their BSN in a year.

“We are excited about creating a pre-licensure BSN program at Saint Martin’s. The program will serve a critical need for nurses locally. We also anticipate BSN students from Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Islands, so our BSN graduates will fill a need outside the local area as well,” said Teri Moser Woo, Ph.D., RN, ARNP, CPNP-PC, CNL, FAANP, director of nursing at Saint Martin’s.  

This past summer, the Saint Martin’s nursing programs received a boon in the form of the nursing equipment that the University won in an auction from St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. St. Gregory’s, a Benedictine university, closed in fall 2017 due to financial difficulties, and Woo, Jeff Crane, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and interim dean of the School of Business, Philip Cheek, director of grounds and facilities and Jeremy Fleury, maintenance technician, traveled to the St. Gregory’s campus to pack up the equipment and bring it back to Saint Martin’s.

“Acquiring St. Gregory’s nursing lab equipment will allow us to move forward with our plan to have state-of-the-art nursing learning labs here on campus. The nursing program at St. Gregory’s was new and only two cohorts of students had used the equipment, which includes teaching models and equipment for students to learn skills, as well as hospital beds, a baby warmer and cribs, IV equipment and more. It is a blessing as we begin our program to have won the auction,” said Woo.

The original nursing program at Saint Martin’s, the RN-to-BSN program, began in 1986, with Maddy deGive, Ph.D., as the director. In the 1990s, the program added master’s degrees for family nurse practitioners and for health policy. These nursing programs were phased out in the late 1990s when enrollment declined. In 2010, Washington set a goal for academic progression in nursing for 80 percent of RNs to obtain BSN degrees or higher by 2020, which led to a decision to reinstate Saint Martin’s RN-to-BSN program. In 2012, Saint Martin’s admitted a new class of RN-to-BSN students into the program, which was under the direction of Louise Kaplan, Ph.D. The program is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  The RN to BSN program has graduated 81 students since 2012.

Woo was appointed to her position in July 2018 to lead the creation of the BSN program and to increase enrollment in Saint Martin’s RN-to-BSN program. Woo brings more than 30 years of nursing experience and educational leadership to Saint Martin’s University. She graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University with a BSN in 1984, an MSN in childrearing family nursing in 1989 and a post-masters pediatric nurse practitioner certificate in 1993. She earned her Ph.D. in nursing at University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing in 2008. She came to Saint Martin’s from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), in Parkland, where she was a professor and associate dean for graduate nursing programs. While at PLU, Woo worked with the faculty to develop the PLU Doctor of Nursing Practice program, with the first students graduating from the program in 2017.

Nursing is just one of the strong and growing science programs at Saint Martin’s, which includes biology, chemistry, environmental studies, mathematics and physics. In addition to the new BSN, Saint Martin’s also received approval from NWCCU to add a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts in exercise science. The exercise science program will also launch in fall 2019. Potential career paths for graduates of the exercise science degree include chiropractics, sports managers, exercise physiologists, athletic coaches, fitness trainers, and occupational or physical therapists.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 26 majors and ten graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

For additional information:

Teri Moser Woo, Ph.D., RN, ARNP, CPNP-PC, CNL, FAANP
Director of Nursing
360-412-6129; twoo@stmartin.edu

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Vice President, Office of Marketing and Communications
360-438-4332; gchan@stmartin.edu

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager
360-412-6126; khyde@stmartin.edu