MARTIN, Tenn. – Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) will make her first visit to the UT Martin Parsons Center at 4:30 p.m., Monday, June 2. A tour of the new West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation Nursing Wing that will open in August is the focus of her visit to the center. The expansion will house the university’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
Joining Harwell will be Rep. Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), who represents Decatur County and also serves as deputy speaker.
Initial funding for the expansion was included in the 2013-14 budget proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and approved by the Tennessee General Assembly. A $1 million appropriation was made to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the current facility. The addition includes classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.
The expansion plans received an added boost when the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation also made a $1 million commitment to the project.
“I am looking forward to seeing this new addition to the University of Tennessee at Martin in Parsons,” Harwell said about her upcoming visit. “This nursing program works with health-care facilities across the state to provide experience for its students. Their commitment to excellence means enrollment is expected to hit its highest mark next year, and I am excited to tour the facility and meet the people who make the program a success day in and day out.”
The Parsons Center will have openings for up to 30 students annually for the program. BSN program graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses and obtain licensure as registered nurses.
Nursing students at Parsons will receive the same experience as those students enrolled at the Martin campus. The program works with health-care facilities across the region to provide three years of clinical experience for its students. Similar programs at other institutions offer only two years of clinical experience.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion is planned for August.
MEDIA ADVISORY – Members of the news media are invited to attend and cover Speaker Harwell’s visit to the UT Martin Parsons Center. Her visit will last approximately 45 minutes. For special arrangements or additional information, contact Bud Grimes, UT Martin Office of University Relations, 731-881-7615, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.