George Mason University will open a new School of Nursing on July 1, expanding the school's existing nursing program.

The school's newly named dean, Dr. Rita Carty, said that as the result of this expansion, "We'll be able to obtain more external funding and attract additional outstanding leaders in the nursing profession" and students from other parts of the country. She added that she expected the school, which will expand facilities for the current student body of 870, to have national impact.

The school will offer a baccalaureate degree, a master of science nursing program and continuing education courses for registered nurses. A doctoral program of nursing science in nursing administration is proposed, which Carty said would further prepare nurses "to assume positions of leadership in the policy- and decision-making areas of the profession."

An ethical decision-making program will be available for nurse executives, which school officials say is the only one of its kind in the United States. The program is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Nursing.

The new school has an international nursing project, which was founded by Taiwanese faculty member Dr. Yuen Chou Liu and caters to nursing professionals from many countries, such as Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, South Africa and Taiwan. It will continue to offer individually tailored programs that often utilize the resources of facilities such as Children's Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, the Pan American Health Office and Project Hope.

In addition, American nurses will be offered a 15-hour international certificate program focusing on the professional and personal skills necessary for international nursing.

Carty joined George Mason in 1978 and became chairwoman of the Department of Nursing in 1981. She came from Georgetown University, where from 1972 to 1974 she was director of the University Affiliated Program for Child Development.

She has a doctorate in nursing science from Catholic University, has written numerous articles, and is director of the Virginia Society for Professional Nursing.