Fairfield University announced the official launch of a new major in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies. Applications are now being accepted for students to receive a bachelor of social work along with a masters of social work.

Students can now earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work in just five years. The program includes two introductory classes that begin sophomore year and entails 12 required courses along with 450 hours of experience with supervision.

According to Meredith Kazer Ph.D., dean and professor of the Egan School of Nursing, the major was established to further develop the School of Nursing’s range of majors.

“Fairfield University’s health professional programs are growing from the strong platform established in nursing and the pre-health professions. However, future growth is dependent on providing an interprofessional team approach to education that places, nurses, social workers and other health professions together in the classroom and clinical areas for learning,” explained Kazer.

Kazer believes that the social work major not only improves the development of the nursing school, but also allows students to explore other options in health studies fields.

The MSW program trains graduate students to receive training in becoming a clinical specialist. Graduates of the BSW program are able to apply to have advanced standing if they choose to do their MSW after graduation.

The prospect of a new major is exciting to current students in the Egan School of Nursing. Junior nursing major Nicole Spinelli commented, “It sounds like an exciting new addition to the nursing program. I believe that it’s important for social work to be incorporated because of the impact it may have on nurses. Social work can help a nurse recognize certain mental or physical problems more closely while providing quality care to their patients.”

Though the social work profession is often attributed to graduates who receive their degrees in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, Kazer feels it fits well in the nursing school as well.

“The social work major fits exceptionally well with the strong health offerings of the Egan School and has allowed us to expand our strong foundation in nursing with additional health studies options. While it could have fit well with other majors, the opportunity to align social work with courses of study in nursing and public health will uniquely position our graduates for successful careers across health and social environments of care,” said Kazer.

Classes required to complete the BSW have already begun while the MSW won’t be beginning till Fall 2019.


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