The critical shortage of baccalaureate prepared nurses in southeast Tennessee and northeast Georgia is being addressed through a federal grant valued at more than $800,000, which has been secured by the UTC School of Nursing. The Gateway Program, geared toward the working RN (two year degree) to earn a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (four year degree), has several appealing features:
• Day and evening classes will be conducted online and in the classroom
• A cohort will begin in May and students will be ready to graduate in less time
• Student support is geared toward attainment of BSN
Dr. Susan Davidson of the UTC School of Nursing, project director of the Gateway Program (RN-BSN), said the first group of students began the program in May. Recruiting has begun for students who will begin classes in May 2008.
“One of the objectives of the grant is to decrease the amount of time professional RNs must spend to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing,” said Davidson. “In the Gateway Program, an RN can become a BSN in twelve to fourteen months. This learning experience was planned for the success of the busy, working RN who needs to maintain the roles of career and family. It allows maximum college credit for previous educational experiences.”
Dr. Kay Lindgren is the Principal Investigator of the federal grant and April Anderson is the recruitment coordinator of the Gateway Program.
Although the majority of the coursework is online, there are many opportunities for students to meet with their advisor. Faculty assistance and support is readily available.
With a curriculum that recognizes the registered nurse as a highly motivated, self-directed adult learner, courses reflect the expanded role of the nurse, such as physical assessment, pathophysiology, nursing research, management and community/public health nursing.
A flexible and innovative clinical practicum awaits Gateway Program students in a variety of community settings. The practicum provides opportunities for application of the standards and principles of community/public health nursing.
The UTC Gateway Program has a fully accredited BSN program. Students have the opportunity to experience a variety of care settings. With small classes and clinical groups allowing for individualized attention from outstanding faculty, the Gateway Program provides leadership in the area’s health care delivery system and professional organizations. Outstanding nursing alumni provide an additional dimension of support for students, providing leadership in the nursing profession in the region.
A registered nurse’s admission to the Gateway Program requires:
• Graduation from an accredited diploma or associate degree nursing program.
• Proof of eligibility to return to the last educational institution and meet UTC continuation standards (see UTC undergraduate catalog on-line at http://www.utc.edu/catalogs/ ).
• Admission to the University.
• Meeting with an advisor in the School of Nursing.
The UTC School of Nursing enjoys excellent community partnerships and support from the University to continue to develop high quality programs to meet the needs of the service community. Quality in programs, faculty, and student experiences are clearly held goals for the UTC School of Nursing.