Saint Thomas Health and Marian University this week announced the launch of an innovative accelerated nursing degree program that will address the rising shortage of nurses in Tennessee and across the nation by educating highly-skilled, compassionate professionals in a concentrated 16-month period.
Marian University at Saint Thomas Health offers those with a bachelor’s degree the singular opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an accelerated program that combines online courses and hands-on clinical training. The program is accepting applications for the first cohort, which will begin classes in May 2014. Information is available online.
“As a leader in healthcare, Saint Thomas Health has a responsibility to respond to the needs of the industry,” said Saint Thomas Health CEO Dr. Mike Schatzlein. “Our clinical resources and capabilities give us a key advantage in helping to alleviate the nursing shortage in Tennessee. We are partnering with Marian University to provide opportunities for those who have long considered a career in nursing to answer their professional calling.”
The healthcare industry has identified the growing shortage of nurses as a serious concern. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is predicted to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations combined.
Marian University at Saint Thomas Health was launched to address this need, further strengthening Middle Tennessee’s nursing education infrastructure.
Headquartered at Saint Thomas West Hospital, Marian University at Saint Thomas Health brings together two organizations that share the same Catholic roots and spiritually-centered mission of delivering the highest quality, holistic care to the communities they serve.
“In addition to sharing a common value system and a calling to service, Saint Thomas Health and Marian University are both committed to innovative educational programming,” said Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener. “We believe in the importance of excellence in education as a way to not only prepare for the future, but shape it. The Marian University at Saint Thomas Health accelerated nursing program will certainly prepare future nurses to meet and embrace the changing healthcare landscape and respond to patient needs.”
Marian University of Indianapolis has a proud history of educating the nation’s nurses. The accelerated nursing program at Saint Thomas Health builds on the success of a similar program in Indianapolis, where Marian University maintains a clinical partnership with St.Vincent Health. The Indianapolis program has graduated 245 nursing students since its inception in 2009. Both clinical partners are part of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit health care system in the United States.
“This is an exciting time for Marian University,” said Anita Siccardi, EdD, APRN, FNGNA, professor and dean of Marian University’s School of Nursing. “Our goal has always been to educate nurses with professional nursing principles and faith-based ethics that will impact their careers for a lifetime. We’re proud to extend our reach to Tennessee with the support and expertise of Saint Thomas Health.”
The program’s baccalaureate curriculum involves 16 months of professional nursing study after the successful completion of prerequisites. Students take lecture-based courses online and engage in onsite clinical experiences within the Saint Thomas Health network, which includes nine hospitals, 65 medical practices, 13 chest pain centers, 16 outpatient rehabilitation centers, 14 ambulatory surgery centers and five community clinics. The accelerated nursing site is located at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville and includes a nursing resource center where students can practice bedside skills.
Marian University and its School of Nursing hold state, regional and national accreditations from The Indiana State Board of Nursing, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accelerated nursing program in Nashville is approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Board of Nursing.