Message from the Director
We have made it to the midterm and are heading to the end of this semester. COVID has not impacted us as much as the flu has. Students are in their clinical sites and things seem amazingly normal.
Exciting things continue with our programs. The new BSN curriculum is ready to be implemented in Spring 2023. This total revision of the program has taken several years to put into place, but it will be worth it. We are incorporating the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials which outlines the expectations for quality nursing education for all nursing programs that are accredited by CCNE. The Essentials present the necessary curriculum content and expected competencies that the graduates from our BSN and DNPs must have to be ready to work in this health care environment. As you will see, it is a competency-based format. We are fortunate that AACN is committed to providing resources and ongoing education for all nursing programs in the country so this change can be as easy as possible. We have been incorporating the new Essentials and the associated competencies as we have worked to revise every program we offer. If you wish to read more go to this link AACN Essentials. Our work in this area is progressing.
News Around Metro
Our new nursing building is still moving forward. The plans to increase our enrollment continue and we will have some exciting announcements about that in the next few weeks, so check back. We are getting ready to admit our second cohort of DNP: Nurse Anesthesia students in January along with students to our DNP: Nursing Administration Systems and DNP: Post Masters. The DNP:NP students are finishing their first semester as APRN doctoral students. We will welcome two new Nurse Anesthesia faculty, Tommy Diller, DNP, CRNA and Rachel Nall DNP (c), CRNA. They will start with us in January as full time, tenure track, assistant professors. With these new faculty, the Nurse Anesthesia program will have five full time faculty.
The CANDL grant continues to create innovative academic-practice partnerships. Through the grant, the FNP students will be prepared to integrate academic and clinical learning and provide quality, culturally-inclusive care for rural and underserved populations. This project which will soon start its 4th year, aligns with regional needs and HRSA priorities with a goal of creating practice-ready FNPs who will work in primary-care settings serving rural and underserved populations. For more information about this grant go to CANDL. Look for billboards throughout our area that provide information about the UTC School of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program.
We are proud of each student who comes to our program for nursing education. When a student is able to balance school and extra-curricular activities at the highest level, we like to celebrate that. The SON Faculty supported Senior Student Maggie Shaw as she competed with the UTC Soccer team at the end of October in the SOCON regional soccer tournament. While they didn’t win the SONCON title, Maggie was named the SOCON defensive player of the year. She earned this honor as a full-time 5th level student. Congrats to Maggie and all of the women’s soccer team on a great season.
Watch for the On Call magazine which will be published in November. It will be a great issue with wonderful stories about our school. The fifth annual NightinGala will be held on April 21, 2023 at the Gilman Event Space in Chattanooga. It will be the 50th anniversary of the founding of the School of Nursing. Watch for details but be sure and put this on your calendar. You won’t want to this this fun evening.
It is hard to believe that 2023 is fast approaching. Check this page often for updates. There are great things on the horizon.
Christine Benz Smith, PhD, FNP-BC
Director, School of Nursing
Chief Health Affairs Officer