UT Martin Parsons Center Groundbreaking Set for July 22

MARTIN, Tenn. – A groundbreaking ceremony is set for 10 a.m., Monday, July 22, for the expansion that will house the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the UT Martin Parsons Center in Decatur County beginning in fall 2014. Governor Bill Haslam, UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes and other officials are scheduled to attend the event that will take place outside the center, located at 975 Tennessee Avenue North in Parsons.

Initial funding for the program was included in the budget proposed by Gov. Haslam and approved this year by the General Assembly. The $1 million appropriation will be used to build a 10,000-square-foot addition to the current facility. The addition will include classrooms, a skills laboratory and a high-fidelity computerized simulation laboratory.

The expansion plans received an added boost recently when the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation made a $1 million commitment to the project.

The Parsons Center will have openings for up to 30 students annually for the program, with 20 slots designated for traditional students and 10 slots for licensed practical nurses. BSN program graduates will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses and obtain licensure as registered nurses.

Nursing students at Parsons will receive the same experience as those students enrolled at the Martin campus. The program works with health-care facilities across the region to provide three years of clinical experience for its students. Similar programs at other institutions offer only two years of clinical experience. Currently, approximately 120 students are enrolled in the BSN program at the Martin campus.

Construction on the facility is expected to begin this summer.