|MARTIN, Tenn. – MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin will offer a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) program at the Parsons Center in Decatur County beginning in fall 2014.
UT Martin Parsons Center will have openings for up to 30 students annually for the program, with 20 slots designated for traditional students and 10 slots for licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Graduates of the BSN program will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtain licensure as registered nurses (RNs).
“Health-care providers are frequently in need of registered nurses,” said Dr. Tom Rakes, UT Martin chancellor. “Having this program extended to our Parsons Center will provide new opportunities for students who live in that region and for the employers needing to hire registered nurses.”
Initial funding for the program was included in the budget proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam and approved this year by the General Assembly. The $1 million appropriation will be used to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the current facility. The addition will include classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.
“The simulation laboratory operates like similar labs for driving and flying,” said Jeannie Walker, a registered nurse and the center’s nursing program coordinator. “We can simulate real health issues for our students so they can practice assessment and nursing interventions under the direct supervision of our instructors.”
Walker said students will be attracted to the BSN program for a number of reasons.
“From the perspective of a student or current LPN, having this degree means better pay,
leadership potential with an employer and the ability to continue to graduate school at a later date,” she said. “From an employer perspective, having bachelor’s prepared registered nurses generally means better patient outcomes. With current health-care trends toward pay for performance, it is essential for employers to hire BSN-prepared nurses.”
Currently, there are approximately 120 students enrolled in the BSN program 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 facilities offer only two years of clinical experience. The program offering at Parsons will extend the same experience to students enrolled there.
“Our graduates consistently have a higher pass rate for the state board examination than the state and national averages,” said Dr. Mary Radford, UT Martin Department of Nursing chair. “The strength of our program, our extended clinical experience requirements and our dedicated faculty are big factors affecting our high licensure pass rate.”
Construction on the facility is expected to begin this summer.
For more information, contact Jeannie Walker, Parsons Center nursing program coordinator, at 731-847-3880 or email@example.com, or Dr. Kelli Deere, Parsons Center director, at 731-847-3880 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ###
About the UT Martin Bachelor of Science in Nursing
The university offers West Tennessee's only basic baccalaureate program in nursing at a public institution outside of the Memphis area. Accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program is a four-year program that combines general education and nursing. Clinical nursing courses begin in the sophomore year. The program is open to all who satisfy the university’s and Department of Nursing’s entrance requirements. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is awarded the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree by the University of Tennessee at Martin and becomes eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for licensure as a registered professional nurse.
The UT Martin Department of Nursing also offers a basic baccalaureate degree to registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The RN-BSN Option is offered at the UT Martin Ripley Center and online. The program is open to anyone with an RN license and who meets entrance requirements of the university and the Department of Nursing.
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