Marian University, in partnership with Nashville, Tennessee based hospital St. Thomas Health, officially opened the doors on its new accelerated nursing program with an open house on April 15. The program, which begins classes on May 12, 2014, allows students to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) in as little as 16 months, after all prerequisites are completed.
The open house featured remarks from Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; Jennifer Elliott, vice president of clinical operations and chief nursing officer at Saint Thomas Midtown and Saint Thomas West Hospital; and Dr. Anita Siccardi, dean of the Alan and Sue Leighton School of Nursing at Marian University. Nursing students from the program’s first cohort were also in attendance, and had an opportunity to tour the program’s state-of-the-art simulation center.
“We are thrilled to be officially opening the program’s doors in preparation for welcoming the inaugural class of nursing students,” said Saint Thomas’s Jennifer Elliott. “Ours is a partnership between two organizations sharing the same values, the same commitment to exceptional education and the same focus on accelerated learning to help alleviate the projected national nursing shortage crisis.”
In addition to being the first program in Middle Tennessee to offer those with a bachelor’s degree the opportunity to earn a BSN through a combination of online courses and hands-on clinical training conducted at an accelerated pace, Marian University at Saint Thomas Health brings together two organizations with the Catholic roots and spiritually-centered mission of delivering the highest quality, most holistic care available to the communities they serve.
“We are proud to be joining with a health care provider as well-respected as Saint Thomas as we begin the process of integrating into Nashville’s invigorating, growing health care market,” said Dr. Siccardi. “Our success in Indianapolis bodes well for making a major impact, not only in Middle Tennessee but nationally as we thoroughly train nurses to serve their communities.”
The shortage of nurses continues to raise serious concerns in the health care industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to increase by 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations combined.