The UTM nursing department is one of the hidden gems of West Tennessee, making headlines in the area for the past four years.
According to the Memphis Business Journal, in 2013 the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation committed $1 million to the nursing branch of the UTM Parsons Center. Since that time, the department has made it in the headlines at least once a year, for success as the only public basic baccalaureate program in West Tennessee, outside of the Memphis area.
In 2014, nursing graduates from UTM had a 100 percent pass rate on their NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) tests. This test is required for those with a nursing degree to be certified to perform entry-level nursing procedures. UTM’s department continued to produce 100 percent passing rates again in 2016 and this year in 2017.
They were also ranked among the top- 100 nursing programs for the Eastern U.S. in 2015, and in the top- 10 for the state this year.
Students who graduate from UTM with their nursing degree will serve more than 900 hours of clinical time, with only a three-year course of study, that leaves students time for a full year of real, hands-on clinical experience to add to their resume for job seeking opportunities upon graduation.
Nurses from UTM have gone on to work all over the state in different capacities and even licensed nurses have the opportunity to participate in the RN-BSN bridge program online through UTM.
Kalena Borman, a senior nursing major from Lyles, said the department is preparing her for the exam by giving practice tests and offering a course specifically for NCLEX prep. Borman also said that the variety of experience in different fields at UTM helps her to solidify what area of nursing she would want to go into upon graduation. Borman hopes to go into the nursing field specializing in labor and delivery after graduation, and she credits her teachers and staff with making her feel at home.
“Over the course of your education, you become a little family with your peers and professors,” Borman said.
According to University Relations, Mary Radford, associate professor of nursing and department chair, has always encouraged the entire department with a goal of excellence. When speaking about this year’s graduates she said,
“On behalf of all the nursing faculty, we want to extend our congratulations, and we can’t wait to see what great things they do in the profession of nursing,” Radford said about this year’s graduates.
UTM has offered nursing curriculum for 40 years and with a track record so filled with excellence, it is no question where they will go in the future. The department of nursing’s mission is, “To assist in meeting a regionally recognized need for nurses by preparing a professional nurse capable of synthesizing theoretical and empirical knowledge incorporating concepts from the physical and behavioral sciences, humanities, and discipline of nursing in developing and implementing nursing practice.”
Their mission statement places an emphasis on people, environment, health, communication, research, education and more. With values that support the bettering of others, it is not hard to see how one department can do so well year after year.