In this file photo, nursing student JaKiya Bond (standing), of Jackson, works with fellow nursing classmate Alexis Flowers, of Jackson, in a nursing lab.

UT Martin nursing program celebrates 50 years of nursing education

More clinical experience is one reason why UT Martin nursing graduates excel in the health-care world. The university’s nursing program is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, and the program’s tradition of experiential learning continues.

The program began in 1972 by providing an associate degree in nursing, and in 1992, the curriculum fully transitioned into a four-year baccalaureate degree program. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and includes three years of clinical rotations offered at local and regional sites, including hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, community organizations and schools. Students receive hands-on instruction through lab experiences and high-fidelity simulations at the main Martin campus and the UT Martin Parsons Center.

In 1999, the Department of Nursing began offering a program intended to help registered nurses receive a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Applicants can transfer select credits from past associate-degree courses, hospital diplomas and existing licenses to streamline the process. Additional courses are offered to supplement the individual nurse’s existing experience in areas such as evidence-based practice, leadership and population health. All RN-BSN completion courses are offered online so that practicing nurses can take classes from anywhere and accommodate hectic schedules.

The most recent expansion of the program came in 2014 when UT Martin began offering the BSN program at the university’s Parsons Center. The nursing courses offered at the regional center are taught by on-site instructors, which allows students to receive one-on-one guidance and build face-to-face connections with faculty members. Students in Decatur County and the surrounding area can pursue a nursing degree while staying close to home.

The UT Martin Department of Nursing prepares its students for success in licensure exams and professional placements. Students take a series of courses centered around leadership and professionalism in nursing, and faculty members advise students on resume writing and interview preparation. As of 2022, the program’s current job placement rate is 100% for students pursuing jobs immediately following graduation.

Dr. Mary Radford, nursing department chair, attributes the program’s successes to the faculty. “We have a small faculty-to-student ratio compared to many of our peers in both the classroom and clinical setting,” she said, “Our faculty also remain active in clinical practice, community and professional organizations so they can use current, evidence-based practice to guide instruction.”

Learn more about the UT Martin Department of Nursing by calling 731-881-7131 or on the Web at


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