Mackenzie Hoover: Student nurse studying for associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Mackenzie Hoover: Student nurse studying for associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time

When Laurel Ridge nursing student Mackenzie Hoover graduates with her associate of science degree in nursing in spring 2022, she will also be receiving her bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.

The 2019 Fauquier High School graduate enrolled in Laurel Ridge’s registered nursing program in August 2020. She’d spent the previous year taking prerequisites for the program. This spring, she also started taking upper-level nursing classes through GMU’s co-enrollment BSN program.

Student nurses in the co-enrollment program, which is online, are able to earn their BSN while concurrently attending a partner community college, according to GMU’s program website.

As her high school career neared a close, Hoover had been torn between becoming a teacher or a nurse. She enrolled in a certified nursing assistant course during her senior year, and discovered nursing was her calling.

Originally, Hoover, who would like to be a pediatric oncology nurse, had planned to go to GMU all four years to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing. But, financial considerations and coming across Laurel Ridge’s well-regarded nursing program led to a change of heart.

“I was adamant I didn’t want student loans,” Hoover said.

While researching how she could do her RN-BSN (associate degree in registered nursing to bachelor’s of science degree in nursing), Hoover came across the co-enrollment program, and applied as soon as she got into Laurel Ridge’s nursing program.

Hoover’s bachelor’s degree classes run in a seven-week format, with 10 upper-level nursing courses each running seven weeks. Currently, she is in a leadership and management in nursing class, and will soon be studying research and introduction to pharmacies.

The bachelor’s degree-level classes can be done at her own pace, and Hoover, who has benefited from the Alice and William Johnson Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the Rotary Club of Warrenton Club Scholarship at Laurel Ridge, intends to earn both her associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time. She is enjoying her studies at Laurel Ridge.

“There are some pretty amazing teachers at Laurel Ridge,” Hoover said. “And, I love being close to home.”

Learn more about Laurel Ridge’s nursing program at laurelridge.edu/nursing. For more information on GMU’s co-enrollment program, visit https://nursing.gmu.edu/academics/bsn-programs/co-enrollment-bsn-program-non-veteran.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.