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Creating Global Solutions in Nursing
UT Tyler Sets Pace Through Innovation, Quality Education, Compassion

Nursing student and teacher

From the moment you walk through the doors of the David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Building on The University of Texas at Tyler campus, you feel a heartbeat. It is a strong, sure rhythm that pulsates throughout the lecture halls, clinical laboratories and offices of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

It is a passion that beats within every faculty member and nursing student – whether in the Tyler facility or at one of the satellite campuses in Palestine or Longview. The UT Tyler nursing program has always been about educating professional nurses who can help provide resourceful solutions for global health care. Graduates address community needs through health promotion, risk reduction and disease management.

But when you boil it all down, the heart of the matter comes down to one thing – helping others. Caring is the core pursuit of nursing.

“I chose nursing because I wanted to care for others in their time of need,” said Melinda Stanley-Hermanns, a UT Tyler nursing graduate and College of Nursing faculty member. “My passion is helping others. I love being a nurse.”

Dawn Johnson, a UT Tyler nursing graduate and registered nurse for Tyler Independent School District, said, “I wanted to closely impact the lives of others.”

The UT Tyler College of Nursing is in the business of equipping caregivers and health educators with the skills, knowledge and practical experience to help save lives through nursing. And that heartbeat has never been stronger – or needed more than right now.

According to the American Hospital Association, U.S. hospitals need about 118,000 registered nurses to fill vacant positions. The Health Resources and Services Administration projects that number will swell to more than 1 million nurses needed by 2020.

New Doctoral Program
Dr. Linda Klotz, UT Tyler College of Nursing dean, said UT Tyler is working to help provide solutions for the nationwide shortage of nurses by increasing enrollment, educating tomorrow’s nursing faculty and offering nurses opportunity for career growth through accelerated programs.

But one of the biggest steps the College of Nursing is taking to impact health care is launching UT Tyler’s first doctoral level program. College of Nursing faculty began planning for the doctoral program in 2005.

Dr. Klotz said, “We hope to get on the agenda for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board this fall for final approval and begin coursework in 2008.”

The Ph.D. in nursing will be one of only seven nursing doctoral programs in the state.

UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry said, “The new doctoral program in nursing is an important milestone for the university and for the state. It will allow us to help reverse the shortage of nursing faculty and nursing slots for students, which will enable us, ultimately, to provide more nurses and administrators for area health institutions. It is also a pilot project for the entire nation.”

The innovative Ph.D. nursing degree program will offer coursework completely online, although students will continue to rotate through hospitals and outpatient clinics for practical training and faculty will work on research projects.

“One of the reasons nursing schools cannot increase enrollment and increase nursing graduates is a lack of faculty,” Dr. Klotz said. She said the nursing doctoral program is designed to produce nursing faculty for the state so that other colleges and universities can grow nursing colleges in the future.

“We are working to increase our master’s enrollment as well as start the doctoral program,” Dr. Klotz said. “We have a number of accelerated programs that allow nurses with an associate degree or LVNs to take the fast track to undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees that will allow them to move into teaching. We provide courses online to give more access, rather than require them to come here.”

Fastest Growing in State
Through innovation and excellence over the past 32 years, the College of Nursing has become one of the largest and most soughtafter nursing programs in the state. What began in 1975 as a degree completion option for associate degree registered nurses has grown into a highly respected, internationally known program that is the fastest growing in the state.

Dr. Pam Martin, associate dean for undergraduate programs, said UT Tyler ranks No. 2 in the state in size. Total undergraduate and graduate enrollment each year is is over 700 students.“We are accredited at both the state and national level,” Dr. Martin said. “We have high-quality programs.”

The UT Tyler pass rate for the nurse licensing exam is 98 percent, Dr. Martin said. And job placement is about 99 percent. She said some 60 percent of students go on to graduate school to become educators, nurse practitioners, nursing administrators and more.

Dr. Mabry said, “We have a very progressive and innovative nursing college here. It is phenomenal in many ways, not only in growth but quality. It is one of the best nursing programs in the state.”

Learn more about UT Tyler’s College of Nursing in the following pages. Not only will you find out about its history, but you will discover how passionate instructors and state-of-the-art technology are impacting the health community locally and across the globe. You will find out what the program is doing to combat the national nursing shortage. And, you will get a glimpse into the heart and soul of nursing. You will read how nursing students are caring for those in need, not only in this region, but also in faraway places like Guatemala.

For UT Tyler’s College of Nursing, it is all about helping people.

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