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UTHSC Expands Accelerated Nursing Program, As Americans Rate Nursing as Most Trusted Profession for 19th Year

The College of Nursing recently expanded its 12-month  accelerated BSN program to include two application cycles per year, with BSN classes beginning in both August and January.

For 19 years in a row, Americans have ranked nurses as the most ethical and honest profession, according to the 2020 Gallup Poll.

Dr. Wendy Likes

“This is especially noteworthy as the poll took place during the COVID-19 pandemic – an unprecedented experience in our lifetimes – but it is not surprising,” said Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-Bc, FAANP, dean of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing. “The nursing profession is one of service and sacrifice. It is an incredible privilege to care for people at their most vulnerable, and nursing draws people who take that privilege very seriously.”

The 2020 poll showed that 89 percent of Americans rated the honesty and ethical standards of nurses as high or very high – exceeding last year’s record-setting 85 percent. Medical doctors ranked next, with 77 percent of Americans rating their standards of honesty and ethics as high or very high. Grade-school teachers ranked third in the poll, with 75 percent of Americans rating their honesty and ethics as high or very high.

With more than 500,000 experienced RNs likely to retire by 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a need for 1.1 million new RNs to avoid a nursing shortage. By 2022, there will be more than 100,000 nursing jobs available per year – more than any other profession.

The College of Nursing offers an accelerated path to achieving the BSN to help increase the ranks of nursing.

A nursing student practices I.V. insertion on a mannequin arm during simulation.

The college recently expanded its 12-month BSN program to include two application cycles per year, with BSN classes beginning in both August and January. The 12-month BSN program is open to students who have already achieved a bachelor’s degree, and it enables them to prepare for the National Council Licensing Exam-RN® (NCLEX) in just 12 months.

The first cohort of the 12-month BSN program at UTHSC achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN – much higher than the national average of 87.53% for first-time pass rates. Two BSN cohorts are currently pursuing the 12-month degree in nursing at UTHSC. One cohort began in August, and the other began this month. Applications for the BSN class scheduled to begin in January, 2022, just opened last week, and the college will accept applications through May 15. More information can be found at this link.

“We are excited to be able to expand our BSN program to send more well-prepared nurses into the workforce at a time of such high need,” Dr. Likes said. “The UTHSC Nursing education has always been one that holds to the highest standards of care and academic discipline.”