Department of Nursing
Dr. Mary Radford, Department Chair
136 Gooch Hall
The University of Tennessee at Martin
Martin, TN 38238
Dr. Nancy Warren, RN-BSN Option Coordinator
332A Gooch Hall
Martin, TN 38238
Cell Phone: 731.612.2842
UT Martin- Parsons Center
535 Tennessee Ave. South
Parsons, TN 38363
Jeannie Walker, RN, MSN Coordinator
UT Martin - Ripley Center
315 South Washington
Ripley, TN 38063
Ethel Spivey, RN Coordinator
Nursing - History
History of the Institution
The University of Tennessee at Martin traces its origins to Hall-Moody Institute established by the Baptist of Martin in 1900. It gained junior college status in 1927, when the state legislature passed a bill stipulating that the school be operated by The University of Tennessee. UT Junior College became a senior college in 1951. Named "The University of Tennessee Martin Branch," it offered bachelor's degree programs in agriculture and home economics. In 1967 the institution officially became The University of Tennessee at Martin, a primary campus of the University of Tennessee system. As such, UT Martin reflects the solid traditions of excellence that have made the total university famous throughout the world. At the same time, UT Martin is able to offer students the many advantages of attending a smaller college with emphasis on the undergraduate years.
In 1970 the University of Tennessee at Martin responded to a regional need for nurses by initiating an Associate of Arts degree program in nursing. The department of Nursing maintained full accreditation of the program from initial accreditation in 1973 until termination of the program in 1991. The program established a strong reputation for excellence and produced more than 800 graduates all of whom obtained licensure as Registered Nurses.
In 1975 the department of Nursing received approval for the addition of an RN-completion program and admitted students into clinical nursing courses in 1976. Efforts to establish adequate full-time enrollment in nursing courses were not successful, and the program was deleted in 1981. Approximately 25 Registered Nurses completed the BSN completion program during its existence.
In 1985 analysis of the evaluation responses from graduates of the AA program prompted identification of a need for competencies beyond the scope of associate degree nursing education. An ad hoc committee was established to determine the nursing education needs for the region. At the time two other nursing programs for the preparation of Registered Nurses existed in the West Tennessee region outside the city of Memphis. a private university offered both an associate degree program and a baccalaureate degree completion program for RNs, and a public community college offered an associate degree program. A second community college was conducting a feasibility study for initiation of an associate degree program in nursing. In order to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing, area students relocated to Memphis or another school outside the region. As the only public University in the region outside of Memphis, UT Martin was in a unique position to provide basic baccalaureate education for the area.
The department of Nursing submitted the proposal for the basic BSN program to the University in January, 1988. Throughout the year, the program received approvals from the University, UT System, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Tennessee Board of Nursing. Operating under initial approval from the Tennessee Board of Nursing, the department admitted the first students into sophomore level clinical nursing courses in Fall, 1989. Deletion of the AA program was timed to assure graduates during each year of the transition from the associate to the baccalaureate program. The final AA class graduated in May, 1991, and the first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees were conferred in May, 1992. Later that month the BSN program at UT Martin received full approval by a unanimous vote from the Tennessee Board of Nursing. The University of Tennessee at Martin has maintained a fully NLNAC accredited BSN program since 1992.