Trevecca Announces Plans to Offer Bachelor's in Nursing

| Academics

A nursing student takes the vitals of a patient.

Students will Complete Clinical Rotations at Ascension Saint Thomas Facilities

Trevecca Nazarene University has announced plans to add a four-year undergraduate nursing degree, pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The proposed bachelor’s program, approved this week by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, would help fill a crucial vocational need with a worldwide impact, and is a natural fit with Trevecca’s mission and background, according to school administrators. 

“Nursing is deeply tied to service. There may not be a more profound way to love our neighbors than to serve those who are sick, wounded, abused or forgotten. This is who we are at Trevecca, and this field of study is a great fit for the type of student we graduate into our communities,” Trevecca Provost Dr. Tom Middendorf said.

According to the Tennessee Center for Health Workforce Development, the state’s nursing shortage has not yet reached its peak, and training and education are contributing factors. 

“We believe we can help address this crucial need that is impacting healthcare in our area and the world,“ Middendorf said. “And in preparing graduates for that task, we’re very pleased to partner with a premier healthcare organization that shares our missional values and can provide students with invaluable hands-on field experience.“

Trevecca nursing students will complete clinical rotations at Ascension Saint Thomas facilities as part of the degree program.

“Ascension Saint Thomas has an ongoing commitment to training the healthcare professionals of tomorrow,” said Mark Phillips, chief nursing officer at Ascension Saint Thomas. “We are honored to work with Trevecca in this exciting new way to strengthen the pipeline of future nurses, ensuring that all Middle Tennesseeans have long-term access to high-caliber healthcare.”

Trevecca nursing students will also have the opportunity to complete pediatric clinical rotations through Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

In adding the program, Trevecca would be building on a strong academic foundation in health sciences, including the education of nursing students. For more than 16 years, a nursing program partnership with Belmont University included two years of undergraduate school at Trevecca and then two years of advanced nursing courses at Belmont. 

“Belmont has been a tremendous partner, and we are truly grateful for that relationship,” Middendorf said. “With their involvement, we’ve been blessed to help many future nurses take the first steps toward their calling over the past two decades.”

Trevecca also holds the distinction of operating Tennessee’s first and longest-running physician assistant (PA) program. The most recent PA graduate class at Trevecca achieved a perfect first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), and the five-year average for Trevecca stands at 99 percent.

In fall 2022, Dr. Ruth Corey was hired by Trevecca as the director of nursing. She has helped guide Trevecca in the application process for accreditation and has been planning the curriculum for the program. Corey has served in a number of leadership and educational roles in nursing, including a tenure as executive director of a higher education nursing program. Most recently, she established a business that offers a licensed practical nursing school, training curriculum and professional development for nurses.

“Trevecca is in a great position to build a flourishing program,” Corey said. “We look forward to producing exceptional nursing graduates who can help address a critical need in the healthcare system."

Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian university in the heart of Nashville focused on preparing students for lives of leadership and service.  Founded in 1901, Trevecca is committed to holistic education that encourages students to grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  In addition to its historic main campus near downtown Nashville, Trevecca offers two other locations across Tennessee, and online classes worldwide. Trevecca has been recognized as a national university by the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges; as a doctoral university by the Carnegie Foundation; and as the #2 school in Tennessee for bachelor’s degree graduate salaries by GradReports.
About Ascension Saint Thomas
Ascension Saint Thomas operates 12 hospitals in Tennessee and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 45-county area and provided more than $180 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2022. Across the state, Ascension Saint Thomas and its affiliates employ more than 10,700 associates. The health system has a 125-year history in Tennessee. Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable, through its more than 2,600 sites of care in 19 states and the District of Columbia.