The School of Nursing has received a full 10-year accreditation with no recommendations for changes in its baccalaureate and master’s degree programs.
The program was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an autonomous accrediting agency officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
“I believe it acknowledges that the faculty and students continuously engage in the pursuit of excellence. Receiving CCNE’s full accreditation assures the University and the community that the School of Nursing maintains the highest quality standards of curriculum and teaching-learning practices.” said Kay Lindgren, PhD, RN, and director, school of nursing.
The program recently moved into a renovated space in the Metropolitan building that includes three large, smart classrooms and a 35-seat computer lab.
“There is also a high-fidelity skills lab with patient simulation rooms, an operating room simulation, advanced practice skills room, large bed lab for practicing fundamental skills and an instructional area complete with smart classroom set-up. We also now have cameras mounted throughout the lab to use for instructional purposes,” said Lindgren.
Lindgren said the program had outgrown its previous space. New donations, grants, and scholarships will help the nursing program expand as more students are accepted and additional faculty are hired to teach.
A new grant aimed at nurse education, practice and retention, Baccalaureate Enrollment Expansion Activities or BEE A Nurse, will allow enrollment to increase by 18 students per year with funding in the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program, which Lindgren said has an 88 percent retention rate.
Lindgren said the successful Gateway RN to BSN Program has received renewed funding for three years. This program offers registered nurses the opportunity to advance their careers by earning a BSN.
“The new addition to this program is a 100 percent online component. Our RN to BSN program also has a 100 percent retention rate,” said Lindgren.
According to Lindgren, because of the recession many nurses who would have retired by now have chosen to continue working and others have moved from part-time to full-time.
“However, we need to continue to educate nurses so that once the economy picks up, as it appears to be doing, the nursing crisis will not worsen. This is only a lull,” she said.
The employment outlook is positive and Lindgren noted that many BSN graduates have positions in place before they graduate.
“Time to Achieve,” UTC’s fundraising component of the UT system’s “Campaign for Tennessee,” has created these new School of Nursing Scholarships: Raymond Howard Family Nurse Practitioner Scholarship, funded by Raymond Howard, faculty in the School of Nursing; Scottish Rite Scholarship, donated by Scottish Rites Foundation; and Sarah Ruth Miller Ray Scholarship, donated by Richard D. Ray in honor of Sarah Ruth Miller Ray, RN.
New donations made to the School of Nursing during the campaign came from Alliance of Women Philanthropist Giving Circle, which donated a full nursing adult simulator; Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Auxiliary, which donated funds and an anonymous donor matched these funds to purchase an additional nursing adult simulator; and GE donated an Anesthesia Machine to use in the simulated Operating Room.
The new scholarships and new donations were added to these established scholarships: Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students for undergraduate and graduate students, which has been granted another year by HRSA Federal Government and the Nurse Anesthesia Scholarship and Advanced Education Scholarship for graduate students granted another year by HRSA Federal Government.
“Nursing alumni continually give to help our program provide scholarships, purchase equipment and other needs,” Lindgren said. She is also appreciative of grants and partnerships, including multiple partnerships with Erlanger and Memorial Hospitals and the Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant, continued for additional three years by HRSA Federal Government.
The Maternal/Child Knowledge to Practice Grant under faculty supervision of Dr. Cherry Guinn was continued for another three years by HRSA Federal Government. BEE A Nurse is under faculty supervision of Dr. Janet Secrest; NEPR Gateway is under Dr. Susan Davidson; NWD is under Dr. Martina Harris. Dr. Lindgren is Principle Investigator of these three grants.