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Dr. Marsha Atkins appointed as MEC Dean of Nursing


Twenty-year military veteran, former nurse midwife has delivered more than 11,000 infants in her career 

Dr. Marsha Atkins, has been appointed as dean of nursing for Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) effective July 25.

Atkins was chosen for her leadership abilities and vast teaching experience in the medical and academic fields. Originally from Chicago, Ill., Atkins has 46 years of clinical practice, education and administrative experience in both the military and public sector. As a former certified nurse midwife for 35 of those years, she has delivered a total of 11,006 infants. 

Atkins began her career in the medical profession as a nurse midwife at The John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, formerly referred to as Cook County Hospital in Chicago. She was one of 35 certified nurse midwives practicing at the facility. For five years, Atkins was a commissioned officer in the United States Army and served as an active member in the United States Air Force as a nurse midwife for 15 years. While serving her country, she taught courses for the Army’s nurse-midwifery degree program at the University of Kentucky and served as graduate faculty for the Air Force midwifery degree program at Georgetown University. 

Prior to her appointment as dean of nursing at the MEC, Atkins served as dean of nursing for three years at City Colleges of Chicago Malcolm X College (MXC), which offers one of the largest selections of health sciences degrees in Cook County. Atkins said she desires to provide leadership to the MEC’s nursing faculty in hopes to enable them to help their students to succeed. Her own goals for the MEC’s Nursing program are ambitious. 

“My main objectives are to ensure the MEC’s Nursing program reaccreditation for the next eight years,” Atkins said. “Also, we will be starting a new nursing curriculum next fall, and I plan to work with the faculty to ensure that it will be successful and beneficial to our students. I want to unify the faculty and staff with the intention to better the educational opportunities for students enrolled in the program. NOVA’s Nursing program is a very good program, and I would like to make it an even greater program.” 

“Dr. Atkins comes to us with significant experience as a military veteran, nursing faculty member and dean,” said MEC Acting Provost Andrew Cornell. “Her leadership style and vast experience in the profession will complement our nursing program. We are very excited to welcome her to the MEC.” 

Atkins holds a Ph.D. in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; an M.S. in Nursing Administration and Public Health from San Jose State University; a BSN in Nursing from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wis.; a B.A. in Health Education from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill.; an associate degree in Nursing from South Suburban College (formerly Thornton Community College) in South Holland, Ill. and midwifery certification from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Atkins is an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), Association of Black Nursing Faculty, Inc. (ABNF), National League for Nursing (NLN) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is the oldest of eight siblings, has two sons and six grandchildren.


Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.