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Mary Botter (Supplied photo)
Mary Botter (Supplied photo)
Mary Botter (Supplied photo)

BENNINGTON -- Southern Vermont College announced it has hired Dr. Mary Botter as its new chair of nursing.

Botter had previously been the executive director of the Vermont Board of Nursing in the Secretary of State's office from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that she served as an associate dean at the School of Nursing at the University of Vermont. Most recently, Botter was the associate dean of the College of Nursing and associate professor of nursing at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

"Dr. Botter brings a wealth of experience in nursing education, including in Vermont, to SVC's newly established BSN degree program," said Karen Gross, SVC president. "We are happy with the progress of our new program and look forward to Dr. Botter's leadership. Under her guidance we know Dr. Botter will facilitate the completion of our new program's accreditation and insure that our students are fully prepared for the healthcare workforce of the 21st century. We are delighted she will be a part of the SVC community."

SVC's baccalaureate in nursing program has received provisional approval from the Vermont Board of Nursing, allowing graduates to complete the National Council Licensure Examination for a nursing license. The college is in the process of seeking national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, with a site visit expected later this fall.

"I'm so happy to be returning to Vermont and joining a terrific college community and promising new nursing program," said Botter, "SVC's nursing graduates are known for providing outstanding care to patients in hospitals and other clinical settings in our region and across the nation."

SVC's nursing department currently offers two tracks for receiving a bachelor's degree in nursing, according to the college's website. First is the new four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, which, in addition to being provisionally approved by the Vermont Board of Nursing, has been accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The second is the Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN program, which is offered to graduates of SVC's associate's degree nursing program, to "assist the registered professional nurse to continue to develop expertise in the field of nursing."

"Nearly 40 new students are enrolled in [the BSN] track, which is amazing for a new academic program," said Gross, "We enjoy giving these students more individualized attention as they proceed through their classes. Our BSN graduates will be empowered with a degree that is recognized and valued by health care facilities and providers."

In Fall 2012, SVC's Nursing and Radiologic Science Department opened its new Health Education Center, which was designed to provide more hands-on learning opportunities for its nursing students. According to SVC's website, the HEC offers one of the only fully functioning simulation lab facilities in the region. The Sim Lab, which was developed in collaboration of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, "provides our students with the opportunity to work on an entire multicultural, anatomically correct, ‘virtual family' that includes male and female adults and children as well as a baby, for the ultimate practical nursing experience."

Botter began her academic career at Duke University, where she earned her BSN. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, obtaining a master of science in nursing as well as her Ph.D. with a focus on nursing administration. Since 1984, Botter has served on more than 10 boards of directors. She has many published works and has presented more than 40 times at conferences and groups, both at the national and international levels.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB