Wellmont and King have signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the
During an afternoon announcement Thursday, the final day of National Nurses Week, officials with the health system and college said the innovative school will benefit people across Northeast Tennessee and
“Our nurses are the lifeblood of our hospitals,” said Dr. Richard Salluzzo, Wellmont’s president and chief executive officer. “Ensuring we have the best-trained, best-equipped nurses available both now and in the future is essential not only to the hospitals of the Wellmont Health System but also to all the patients who depend on us for care.”
The Wellmont-King nursing school will provide third- and fourth-year nursing education programs geared to both nursing students and current registered nurses. Nursing students who have earned an associate’s degree from a two-year community college can complete their bachelor of science degree in the nursing program, while existing registered nurses will be able to enroll in an accelerated RN to BSN program. All students will participate in hands-on clinical training at Wellmont hospitals.
Nursing students who successfully complete the program will receive priority consideration for employment in Wellmont hospitals. Current Wellmont and other registered nurses, in addition to honing their professional skills and judgment, will increase their earning power and career options by obtaining their BSN degree.
“This innovative, collaborative venture between a healthcare provider and higher education will meet the demands placed on our community by the shortage of nurses,” said Dr. Gregory Jordan, president of
“We are fortunate to enter into this agreement with Wellmont Health System, the healthcare leader in our region,’ said Dr. Paul Percy, King’s vice president of academic affairs. “
“Students of the program will benefit from the extensive experience of our faculty, an outstanding clinical training program that has resulted in a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX exam and a small, 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio in the clinical setting. We are honored that Wellmont so frequently hires our nurses and wants to continue expanding upon our relationship by hiring more nurses in their hospitals.”
Numerous scholarship and loan opportunities will be available for students at the nursing school. The first scholarship to be funded specifically for students at the Wellmont-King school will be the Marta Pugh Nursing Education Scholarship, established by the Wellmont Foundation in memory of the wife of Dr. Tom Pugh.
Dr. Pugh, a radiologist at