Pellissippi State approved for Nursing program

Pellissippi State Community College has received the go-ahead to offer an associate’s degree program in Nursing, clearing the way for its first class in fall 2010. The Tennessee Department of Health’s Board of Nursing approved the program Sept. 25.

The college plans to start taking student applications in January 2010. Pellissippi State has hired Larry Goins as dean of Nursing and Katrenia Hill as coordinator of Pre-Nursing/Nursing activities.

“We’re glad to offer students the chance to continue their nursing education here and to fill a growing demand for this important occupation,” said Allen Edwards, Pellissippi State president. “Pellissippi State currently has nearly a thousand Pre-nursing students—about 10 percent of the credit student body—and many have already expressed the desire to earn their Nursing degree here.”

The new program gives students the opportunity to earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing. Completing the A.A.S.N. and passing the NCLEX licensing exam are required to achieve registered nurse, or R.N., status.

“We need a strong health-care infrastructure to support business growth across the region,” said Garrett Wagley, director of communications and government relations for the Knoxville Chamber.

“Certainly, a key part of that is having the skilled professionals to provide the care. Pellissippi’s new Nursing program is going to be an important resource to prepare workers for these high-demand jobs—jobs that are a critical ingredient in the health-care infrastructure.”

A study through the Tennessee Center for Nursing, an independent statewide nursing workforce center, found that demand for nurses will outpace supply during the next decade in Tennessee.

“This gap becomes greater each year beginning in 2008,” the report states, “and a total shortage of over nine thousand RNs is predicted by 2020.”

Pellissippi State will offer the Nursing program at both the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville and the new Blount County Campus in Friendsville. The Blount County site is under construction and scheduled to open for classes in fall 2010.

The Magnolia Avenue Campus is already the site of a Nursing program begun four years ago as a collaborative effort between Pellissippi State and Roane State Community College. With the final approval gained from the Board of Nursing on Sept. 25, Pellissippi State takes full responsibility for the program.

The Pellissippi State Foundation is in the midst of a major gifts campaign that seeks donations for the Nursing program, as well as for the Blount County Campus and other fundraising priorities.

To learn more about the Nursing program, e-mail nursing@pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6460. For details on the college’s Pre-nursing Education curriculum, contact the Pre-nursing Advising and Information Center, pre-nursing@pstcc.edu or 694-6460. For information on donating to the Pellissippi State Foundation, call 694-6528 or e-mail foundation@pstcc.edu.

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