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UTHSC News: UTHSC College of Nursing and UT Southern Collaborate to Offer Joint BSN Program


The Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) has approved a proposal for a joint Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program operated by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing and the UT Southern Jeanette M. Travis School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The proposal was approved at THEC’s Aug. 17 meeting. The joint program will welcome its first cohort in Fall 2024 in Pulaski, Tennessee.

UT Southern in Giles County established a school of nursing in 2006. It offers the only BSN program in the 13-county area of southern Middle Tennessee, where the school is located. The former Martin Methodist University, originally established in 1870 as Martin Female College, joined the University of Tennessee System in 2021. Ten students graduated in the BSN program from UT Southern in 2023 achieving a 100% first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate for the second consecutive year. Tracing its history to 1898, the UTHSC College of Nursing was the first College of Nursing in Tennessee. In fiscal year 2023, 156 students earned nursing degrees at UTHSC across all programs.

“This Joint BSN program is an exemplar of the UT System’s Be One UT values and how we can work together and build on the strengths of each of our programs,” said UTHSC College of Nursing Dean Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-BC, FAANP.  “We are excited that our students will have exposure to each other in such unique environments – rural and urban. We look forward to growing the pipeline of nursing graduates toserve communities across Tennessee.”

Dr. Michelle Decker, the UT Southern Chair of the Jeanette M. Travis Nursing School, added that “this groundbreaking joint program will be able to offer unique health care training and learning experiences for the future nurses who will be working in both rural and urban Tennessee communities.”

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