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LMU STEPS UP TO TAKE LEAD IN NURSING EDUCATION IN KNOXVILLE



January 26, 2009 - Harrogate, Tennessee — Already operating one of the largest Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree programs in the state of Tennessee, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) has started the accreditation approval process to expand its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program to include a large BSN degree program in Knoxville in addition to its already successful Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN). The expanded proposed program is an effort to continue to provide highly qualified nursing professionals to an area that has seen dramatic reduction in baccalaureate nursing seats. With appropriate program approval from professional and institutional accreditation and state approval bodies, the proposed program could enroll students in 2010.

“Our intention is to fill a great need in the field of nursing in Knoxville,” said Dr. Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees. “With the tough decisions that are being made in higher education today, there is a void to fill. And we feel that this is something LMU does very well. This is an opportunity to build a program that could evolve to be one of the largest in the state and impact the economy of Knoxville in a huge way.”

U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show that more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016. In Knoxville, the nursing shortage is already being felt and opportunities for qualified baccalaureate-trained nurses are plentiful. A baccalaureate degree in nursing can open the door to career opportunities in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and more. Like most fields, in nursing, education translates to increased salaries and a BSN can be a platform to continue on to a graduate degree.

“The opportunities that are open to a nurse with a BSN degree are boundless,” De Busk said. “A four-year degree is essential for a person to pursue the exceptional salaries that come with a graduate nursing degree. Our proposed program will make it seamless for a person to continue on in either the Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Anesthesia concentrations within the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at LMU or the graduate nursing programs at the University of Tennessee.”

LMU’s proposed BSN program will be designed to allow students from area two-year and four-year schools to have a seamless transition in their pursuit of an undergraduate nursing degree. The ASN and the RN-BSN nurse education options are currently available in the Knoxville area at St. Mary’s Medical Center and the ASN program is available in Alcoa, Tenn., at the Blount Memorial Hospital teaching center. LMU also offers its nursing program at the main campus in Harrogate, Tenn. and Corbin, Ky., at Baptist Regional Medical Center.

Founded in 1897 as a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, the University’s mission is to serve the Appalachian region by providing quality programs in higher education. Traditionally, the University has grown and expanded programs to areas with a demonstrated need and this proposed expansion is an extension of its mission. LMU launched its first nursing program in 1974, in part to fight the growing health care crisis across the region. Since the program’s inception, over 5,500 nursing graduates have joined the employment ranks and 68 percent of those graduates live and serve within 75 miles of LMU’s main campus in Harrogate. Nursing is now the largest undergraduate program at LMU.

“The Caylor School of Nursing at LMU has grown to be one of the larger nursing schools in the state of Tennessee. Every year our ASN program turns out one of the largest classes in the region of highly qualified nurses into the workforce,” said Dean Mary Anne Modrcin. “Our program is strong in numbers and University support. In the past five years our enrollment has nearly tripled and our school has expanded to include a graduate nursing program with Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Anesthesia concentrations, all professionally accredited. We have been poised to expand the undergraduate program and now the time is right.”

LMU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. All of the programs of the Caylor School of Nursing have individual program accreditation/approval by various state and professional accrediting bodies.

In the face of volatile economic times, the LMU Board of Trustees has announced a freeze on undergraduate tuition for the 2009-2010 academic year and a 0% increase in on-campus housing costs. LMU’s undergraduate tuition stands at 39% below the national average for four-year private schools. Additionally, the University awards over seven million dollars of institutional aid to its students annually.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at admissions@lmunet.edu.

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