Nashville State Technical Community College has joined the Partners in Nursing Consortium, a long-term partnership between Belmont University, HCA’s TriStar Health System, Trevecca Nazarene University and Volunteer State Community College created to address the growing shortage of health care professionals in Tennessee. The newest member of the consortium was announced Monday at a celebration on the Belmont campus of the “topping out” of the new Gordon E. Inman Health Sciences Building.
A Topping Out Ceremony, one of the construction industry’s oldest customs, celebrating the highest point of a building’s progress. The ceremony recognized those who have made the nursing partnership and the Health Sciences Building possible.
The university also unveiled the building’s cornerstone, which includes a quote from Henri Nouwen’s book Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life: “When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand.”
After the ceremony, construction workers, university trustees, nursing students and invited guests were treated to lunch inside what will be the lobby area of the new building when it is completed in August 2006.
Through the Partners in Nursing consortium Nashville State students who are accepted into the program will earn their Associate’s degree at Nashville State. They will then transfer to Belmont where all of their credits from Nashville State will apply toward a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing.
“Nashville State Community College has had a longstanding and positive relationship with Belmont University,” said George Van Allen, President, Nashville State Community College. “For years, students have been transferring from Nashville State to Belmont, and we have always appreciated their receptiveness. This new agreement between Nashville State and Belmont is another example of our working together for the benefit of all of our students, and we look forward to continuing this type of activity in the future.”
The nursing students will complete their education in Belmont’s new $22.5 million Gordon E. Inman Health Sciences Building, now under construction. For their clinical experiences students in this program will have the opportunity to work within the HCA’s TriStar Health System hospitals as well as other local clinical agencies.
“We welcome Nashville State to this important and unique Partners in Nursing Consortium as we combine our institutions’ efforts along with industry partner HCA’s TriStar Health System to help meet the growing need for nurses and other health care professionals,” Dr. Robert Fisher, president of Belmont University, said. “Ours is the most ambitious effort yet taken by any Tennessee university to address the state’s growing shortage of nurses – a shortage that is growing toward crisis proportions.”
A task force of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA) issued a January 2004 report, Securing Tennessee’s Future: Increasing Educational Capacity in Nursing, which projected a shortage of 9,500 nurses in Tennessee by 2020.
In addition to the traditional nursing program, Belmont also offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Introduced in 2003, the accelerated BSN increased enrollment in the nursing program from 131 students in 2002 to 256 this year. The goal of this consortium is to enroll 600 nursing majors.
Construction is well underway on the new Gordon E. Inman Health Sciences Building, which is scheduled to open in August 2006. Franklin businessman Gordon E. Inman, who donated $10.5 million toward the construction of the new building, spoke at the Topping Out ceremony, as did Jack Bovender, chairman and CEO of HCA; Marty Dickens, chairman of Belmont University’s Board of Trustees; and Dr. Fisher.
The building is phase one of a two-phase complex that eventually will house Belmont’s nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy and social work programs.
Nashville State Technical Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents college that offers two-year Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, and Associate of Science degrees, as well as academic, technical, and career advancement certificates.