Vol State Community College will begin offering courses for registered nursing credentials later this year.
President Dr. Jerry Faulkner said the new program will help meet a growing need across the state.
“We realized there was a shortage of opportunities for folks to obtain that degree and that registered nurse credential,” Faulkner said. “So we put into action a plan to provide those opportunities in both Livingston and in Gallatin.”
The Tennessee Board of Nursing gave their approval for the program, which will officially award an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing.
Faulkner said the growing healthcare industry across the state provided the opportunity to create the program.
“There is a shortage across the nation and a pretty critical need in Tennessee,” Faulkner said. “As current nurses are aging and reaching the end of their careers, that creates open positions. And then as those of us who are baby boomers are reaching that age where we need increased medical care, there’s an increased demand as well.”
Faulkner expects the programs at both locations to attract a lot of interest from prospective students.
“The programs themselves are not going to be large because of the requirements for clinical rotations and the required ratio of faculty-to-students,” Faulkner said. “We hope this year to accept in the first class 24 students here at Gallatin and 24 at Livingston.”
Faulkner expects the program to begin later this summer for the 2019-2020 academic year with recruitment likely to begin this spring.