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TMCNet:  Saint Thomas Health and Marian University Launch Accelerated Nursing Program

[December 06, 2013]

Saint Thomas Health and Marian University Launch Accelerated Nursing Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. --(Business Wire)--

Saint Thomas Health and Marian University today announced the launch of an innovative accelerated nursing degree program that will address the rising shortage of nurses in Tennessee and across the nation by educating highly-skilled, compassionate professionals in a concentrated 16-month period.

Marian University at Saint Thomas Health offers those with a bachelor's degree the singular opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) through an accelerated program that combines online courses and hands-on clinical training. The program is accepting applications for the first cohort, which will begin classes in May 2014. Information is at www.mariannursing.com/nashville.

"As a leader in healthcare, Saint Thomas Health has a responsibility to respond to the needs of the industry," said Saint Thomas Health CEO Dr. Mike Schatzlein. "Our clinical resources and capabilities give us a key advantage in helping to alleviate the nursing shortage in Tennessee. We are partnering with Marian University to provide opportunities for those who have long considered a career in nursing to answer their professional calling."

The healthcare industry has identified the growing shortage of nurses as a serious concern. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is predicted to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average of all occupations combined. Marian University at Saint Thomas Health was launched to address this need, further strengthening Middle Tennessee's nursing education infrastructure.

Headquartered at Saint Thomas West Hospital, Marian University at Saint Thomas Health brings together two organizations that share the same Catholic roots and spiritually-centered mission of delivering the highest quality, holistic care to the communities they serve.

"In addition to sharing a common value system and a calling to service, Saint Thomas Health and Marian University are both committed to innovative educational programming," said Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener. "We believe in the importance of excellence in education as a way to not only prepare for the future, but shape it. The Marian University at Saint Thomas Health accelerated nursing program will certainly prepare future nurses to meet and embrace the changing healthcare landscape and respond to patient needs."

Marian University of Indianapolis has a proud history of educating the nation's nurses. The accelerated nursing program at Saint Thomas Health builds on the success of a similar pogram in Indianapolis, where Marian University maintains a clinical partnership with Saint Vincent Health. The Indianapolis program has graduated 245 nursing students since its inception in 2009. Both clinical partners are part of Ascension Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the United States.


"This is an exciting time for Marian University," said Anita Siccardi, EdD, APRN, FNGNA, professor and dean of Marian University's School of Nursing. "Our goal has always been to educate nurses with professional nursing principles and faith-based ethics that will impact their careers for a lifetime. We're proud to extend our reach to Tennessee with the support and expertise of Saint Thomas Health."

The program's baccalaureate curriculum involves 16 months of professional nursing study after the successful completion of prerequisites. Students take lecture-based courses online and engage in onsite clinical experiences within the Saint Thomas Health network, which includes nine hospitals, 65 medical practices, 13 chest pain centers, 16 outpatient rehabilitation centers, 14 ambulatory surgery centers and five community clinics. The accelerated nursing site is located at Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville and includes a nursing resource center where students can practice bedside skills.

Marian University and its School of Nursing hold state, regional and national accreditations from The Indiana State Board of Nursing, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accelerated nursing program in Nashville is approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

Information sessions about the Marian University at Saint Thomas Health accelerated nursing degree will be held on December 10 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm; December 12 from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm; and December 17 from 11:30 am - 12:30 pm at Saint Thomas West Hospital, 4220 Harding Road, Suite 500. Attendees are encouraged to bring prior college transcripts for personalized feedback about eligibility and next steps.

For more information on the new accelerated nursing program from Marian University at Saint Thomas Health, visit www.mariannursing.com/nashville.

About Marian University at Saint Thomas Health:

The accelerated nursing program in Nashville offered by Marian University at Saint Thomas Health allows those who already hold a bachelor's degree to enter the nursing field after 16 months of professional nursing study (completion of nursing prerequisites is required). The program results in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and prepares students to earn their RN license after graduation. Students complete lecture-based courses online and engage in onsite clinical experiences at facilities in the Saint Thomas Health network. For more information, visit www.mariannursing.com/nashville.

About Saint Thomas Health:

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee's faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united under the common mission of one healing community. With more than 7,000 associates, Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes - Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro and Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville - and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.SaintThomasHealth.com.

About the Need for BSN-Prepared Nurses:

Studies prove that a nurse's level of education significantly impacts patient care. A renowned patient safety study conducted by Dr. Linda Aiken and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2008 revealed that every 10% increase in the amount of a hospital's nurses with a bachelor's degree or higher reduces post-surgery mortality rates by 5 percent. This finding is embraced by The Institute of Medicine, which recommends increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020.

Despite the growing need for nurses, many nursing schools don't have the faculty or resources to accommodate their increased applicant pool. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing states that 30,000 or more qualified applicants have been turned away from nursing education programs every year since 2002.


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