In 2009, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing suspended its BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program due to fiscal problems. Hospitals, nursing educators, and advocates were justifiably concerned that the nursing shortage being experienced statewide could worsen in the future.
Unfortunately, the College of Nursing had no choice in light of the mandatory budget cuts and loss of two considerable sized grants. However, in 2012, to meet the continued state and regional health care demands, the University applied for reactivation of its BSN program, which Tennessee’s Board of Nursing approved.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act calls for millions more people to access health insurance, which will further burden an already overburdened system. Notwithstanding this fact, an alarming number of physicians are electing to not go into primary care. Due to these two dynamics converging simultaneously, nurses will likely fill the demand for primary health care service providers.
Regardless of where a patient accesses a health care service – through emergency care or primary care, or someplace in between – since a nurse is usually the first health care provider a patient will see, well-prepared nurses are vital to the health care delivery system.
Due to these looming needs, the University of Tennessee College of Nursing decided to reactivate its BSN program. Re-instituting the BSN program is also in response to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine that calls for at least eighty percent of the nursing workforce to hold a bachelor’s degree by the year 2020.
The nursing school is recruiting students for its 2013 graduating class with plans to enroll seventy students. Although several area schools offer pre-licensure baccalaureate programs, the BSN program offered at the University of Tennessee will provide an educational path for graduate programs as well.
Not surprisingly, other Tennessee nursing schools are also meeting the need for BSN trained nurses. According to figures recently released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, in 2011 an increasing number of nursing students were enrolling in baccalaureate programs as well as graduate level nursing programs.
In 2012, Tennessee schools of nursing turned away approximately 3,000 nursing students. In fact, according to a recently released report of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the University of Tennessee turned away 1,172 applications submitted by qualified students who applied for acceptance into baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs.
In 2010, the University’s Center for Business and Economic Research conducted a study that projected that the number of BSNs awarded by the University of Tennessee’s College of Nursing would increase from 1,162 degrees to 3,109 by 2018.
Due to many contributing factors, i.e., aging population, nurses retiring, faculty shortages in nursing schools, the new health care law, doctors shortage in primary care area, to name a few major reasons, additional highly skilled nurses are absolutely needed to fill the fractures in the health care system.
Learn more about the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Nursing
Think this recently reinstated BSN program may be right for you? Check out the video below to learn more about the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center and it’s reputation for excellence.