School of Nursing Expands Program

The Whitson-Hester School of Nursing has expanded the size of the program and accepted 60 new upper-division nursing students this fall.

Previously, the department accepted anywhere between 45 and 48 students into the program. This year’s class saw a 20 percent increase in the number of students that were accepted.

Melissa Geist, Associate Professor of Nursing and Interim Dean of the College of Interdisciplinary Studies, said, “It is very, very hard to get into the nursing program at TTU.”

Geist said potential employers have a high demand for Tech nursing graduates in offices and hospitals across the Upper Cumberland. By increasing the size of the nursing program, TTU is responding to the needs of the public.

Some concerns have been raised about the size of the incoming class affecting the one-on-one time between teachers and students. However, Geist said the program is unwilling to sacrifice the quality of the clinical experience for an increased number of students. 

“We want high quality clinical sites for our students,” said Geist.

The newest issue for the department’s faculty is finding more professors to maintain a reasonable student-to-professor ratio. Geist said there is one teacher for every five to six students.