Category Archives: Nursing

Pellissippi State welcomes two new academic deans

Portrait of a male

For Kane Barker, being offered the position of dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State Community College is a dream come true.

“I grew up in Knoxville and had wanted to return for years,” said Barker, who was hired last month. “I sat down and designed my dream job, the job that would bring me back here, and it was the dean of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Pellissippi State.
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“I’m very happy to be here. I have a real heart for education in a place like Pellissippi State that allows professors to bond with students, to teach them and develop not only learning skills but introduce them to new opportunities for life.”

Stamm-LisaLisa Stamm, the new dean of the college’s Nursing Department, echoes Barker’s sentiments: “Pellissippi State truly does have a community feel. It’s a very dynamic place with lots of opportunities, and everyone is kind and supportive.

“I want to be sure the community knows about our top-notch Nursing program. I plan to continue to uphold standards that have kept our program at a 97 percent pass rate for the National Council Licensure Examination and that have given us our largest freshman class ever this fall.”

The Nursing Department will continue to offer new, technologically advanced methods for students to learn, Stamm says, from dual enrollment courses in health science at local high schools to a planned simulation center at the Strawberry Plains Campus. In addition, she hopes to include more service-learning opportunities that will allow Nursing students to give back to the community and learn by doing.
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In his new position, Barker hopes to continue building on his department’s past successes, including STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and early childhood education, as well as to pursue grants for additional student scholarships and state-of-the-art equipment. Barker earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Georgia Institute of Technology. He and his wife of 10 years have three children.

Stamm completed an M.S. in nursing from the University of Tennessee and is currently pursuing a doctorate in health education. She has worked in cardiology, critical care and emergency units, and she has taught at local higher education institutions. Stamm and her husband have four grown children.

For more information, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State stages pinning ceremony for graduating Nursing students

Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
from the poem “Santa Filomena”

Pellissippi State Community College recognizes the hard work and dedication of its 2014 class of Nursing students during a pinning ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, May 9. The ceremony is at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville.

“The Nursing degree,” said Beverly Rogers, the program’s interim dean, “requires long hours of studying, homework and heart-wrenching clinical experiences, culminating with a three-hour licensure exam.”

Pellissippi State graduates earn the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. Before they can practice as registered nurses, they also must pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

“The pinning ceremony, which dates back more than 1,000 years, is an honored graduation tradition that signifies that the pin recipient has completed his or her nursing education and is now prepared to provide nursing care to individuals, families, and communities,” said Rogers.

At the ceremony, each graduate is pinned with a Pellissippi State Nursing program pin recognizing the student’s achievement. The evening also includes a traditional candle lighting. The candle-burning lamp is a symbol of one of the world’s best-known nurses, Florence Nightingale. The 19th-century caregiver earned the nickname “Lady With the Lamp” for her custom of making rounds in the wee hours.

“The lamp will always shine brightly as a symbol of the care and devotion the nurse administers to the sick and injured,” said Rogers. “As the flame is passed from Nightingale to each nurse, the new nurse recites the nurse’s pledge.”

The ceremony will include remarks by L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State’s president; Ted Lewis, vice president of Academic Affairs; and featured speaker Darneta Brown, an associate professor in the Nursing program.

The pinning ceremony takes place in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre. The center is located at 502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy.

For more information about Pellissippi State and its programs, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State: Bridge to Registered Nurse offers LPNs fast track to higher degree

Pellissippi State Community College offers a fast track for licensed practical nurses to receive their registered nurse degree.

Through the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, Pellissippi State allows LPNs to enter nursing school following the successful completion of one summer transitional course. The Bridge program offers an advanced placement opportunity: a shortened 12-month, three-semester program—two semesters remain once the student finishes the transitional course—for an LPN to “bridge” to the RN level of nursing.

Upon earning the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing from Pellissippi State, the student is prepared to take the national licensure exam to become an RN.

“In this transitional course, Nursing 1170, LPNs validate the same knowledge they would have acquired had they been freshmen in the traditional, two-year Nursing program that we offer,” said Beverly Rogers, Pellissippi State’s interim dean of Nursing.

“They have to do clinical and laboratory simulations, and we cover all the content they normally would have had, but the transitional class allows LPNs to bypass the first year of the Nursing program.

“As long as they have their pre-nursing courses complete, after finishing the Bridge transitional course, the LPNs can then earn their degree in only two semesters. Normally, students are in school for two to three years to get the A.A.S.N. and then are eligible to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse.” One year of training is typically required to become an LPN.

The first Bridge to Registered Nurse class began in May with 24 students. The program is a cohort, which means that students begin and complete the coursework together. Admission is highly competitive, with GPA, exam scores, and higher education degree requirements, in addition to current health-care licensures and certifications.

“Some fields in the health-care industry are moving away from the LPN certification,” Rogers said. “Some of our students have been given only a year to earn that Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree and take the exam to qualify for the RN in order to keep their jobs. This degree program is helping students who otherwise might be displaced.”

Pellissippi State’s Bridge to Registered Nurse program is among the shortest and most streamlined in the state.

“It’s a much more rapid program than most other community colleges in Tennessee can offer,” Rogers said.

The Bridge to Registered Nurse program is funded in part by an Rx Tennessee grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Rx Tennessee grants, totaling $12.6 million distributed among all Tennessee community colleges and technical centers, were awarded in September 2012. Pellissippi State’s roughly $600,000 portion of the funding is effective until 2016.

Rx Tennessee is designed to improve opportunities for Trade Adjustment Assistance eligible workers—those who have lost jobs or suffered reduced hours or wages as a result of work going outside the U.S.—and others in health-care training, Likewise, it also is meeting the need of the health-care industry and employers.

For more information about the Bridge to Registered Nurse program, contact Michael Burtch, Rx Tennessee program coordinator, at (865) 225-2334 or Brian Gilpin, Rx Tennessee completion coach, at (865) 225-2337. Both contacts are located at Pellissippi State’s Strawberry Plains Campus.

For more information about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu/department/nursing or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State Nursing program awarded accreditation

The Nursing program at Pellissippi State Community College has received official notification of initial accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

“This is a great accomplishment for our program and Pellissippi State,” said Larry Goins, dean of Nursing. “To earn ACEN accreditation for the A.A.S.N. [Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree] program within three years is an exemplary accomplishment.”

The college’s two-year Nursing program was launched in 2010.

ACEN accreditation couldn’t come at a better time, says Goins, since more students than ever are seeking opportunities for nursing careers. Nursing is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing occupations, the demand for nurses is at an all-time high, and the need for nurses is projected to continue to increase.

Nursing is offered at the Blount County and Magnolia Avenue campuses. Both facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art simulation labs, creating a strong learning environment for the students who will become tomorrow’s nurses.

Partnerships with other institutions allow Pellissippi State’s Nursing graduates to transfer seamlessly if they choose to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing.

Following an on-site evaluation in March 2013, the ACEN granted accreditation for five years, the maximum number available for initial accreditation. The program’s accreditation is effective until spring 2018.

Accreditation indicates to the community that Pellissippi State’s Nursing program meets national standards and guidelines for nursing education and that it is committed to the delivery of quality nursing education.

The program initially received full approval on August 22, 2012, by the Tennessee Board of Nursing after a two-day site visit in February 2012.

For more information about the Nursing program, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State, American Heart Association host August nursing conference

Pellissippi State Community College and the American Heart Association will co-host the inaugural Nurse Symposium at Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus on Aug. 8. The theme of the event is “Care for Those Who Give Care.”

“We know that nurses are one of our most valued treasures,” said Pat Myers, director of community outreach and donor engagement at Pellissippi State. “This symposium is a way to both honor them and share learning tools that are vital for better health—better health not only for those who work in the medical field but for all of us.”

The symposium is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Goins Administration Building. Here is the event schedule in brief:

  • 9-11:30 a.m.—Registration, vendor exhibits/screenings and mini-sessions
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.—Lunch
  • 12:45-1:45 p.m.—Keynote speaker and demonstrations presented by Laerdal Medical
  • 2-4 p.m.—Breakout sessions (30 minutes each, running concurrently throughout the afternoon; applicable for continuing education units)

Registration is $10 and includes lunch, an exhibit area with information, and various medical screenings. The event has several key partners, including Covenant Health, East Tennessee Heart Consultants, Tennova Healthcare and the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

To register, as either a participant or a vendor, visit www.pstcc.edu/symposium or call (865) 539-7242.

Pellissippi State leads region in manufacturing education and training

Last year, Pellissippi State Community College enhanced its reputation as a leader in manufacturing education, marked the graduation of its first Nursing class, and achieved full state approval for its Nursing program. Nursing is offered at the Blount County Campus in Friendsville and the Magnolia Avenue Campus in Knoxville.

This year, the college is poised to build on its academic programs, as well as on its student participation in study abroad—already the highest of any U.S. community college.

Supporting students in completing college and increasing access to and placing graduates in good jobs serve as key priorities in 2013, said L. Anthony Wise Jr., Pellissippi State president.

“We continue to focus on helping students complete their studies in both transfer programs and career/technical fields that lead to outstanding transfer opportunities and excellent jobs,” Wise said.

Pellissippi State also is reviewing its distance education program to find ways to provide additional pathways to degree completion.

“We’re going to change the way we use distance education—and this will certainly affect Blount County—to help students at our site campuses complete career and transfer degrees on those campuses,” Wise said.

Manufacturing education and training

At the state-of-the-art Manufacturing Tech Lab, the Blount County Campus has experienced an uptick in apprenticeship training through the college’s Business and Community Services Division and Engineering Technology degree program. For example, Cherokee Millwright revived its apprenticeship program with the consultation and expertise of BCS. BCS and Engineering Technology also developed curricula and training for Y-12 machinist apprentices at the Hardin Valley Campus.

This past year, the college played a key role in creating a national curriculum for the Automotive Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative. AMTEC is a collaboration of colleges and industry to better prepare skilled technicians and manufacturing engineers for work in auto manufacturing and technology. The curriculum contribution helped Pellissippi State land two federal grants to fund manufacturing education, training and workforce development in East Tennessee.

“These types of advanced manufacturing programs, they really feed into what seems to be a growth in manufacturing in the local economy,” Wise said. “In terms of our career programs, that’s exactly where we need to be.”

The first grant came through the U.S. Department of Labor in September. The Labor Department awarded $15 million to an educational consortium that included Pellissippi State. The grant provides a minimum of $760,000 to each consortium member during a three-year period.

The award funds manufacturing job training to fill a shortage of skilled workers locally. The goal of the grant meets a long-term ambition, one that dovetails with Pellissippi State’s mission: to help transform manufacturing education.

The funding will boost instructional capacity, pay for equipment and technical support, and improve online delivery of the college’s Engineering Technology classes.

A few weeks after the Labor Department grant was announced, Pellissippi State learned it was the recipient of a second federal grant for manufacturing education.

The college plays a key role in the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototype Center of East Tennessee (AMP!), one of 10 public-private partnerships to receive a total of $20 million to revitalize U.S. manufacturing and create jobs. Pellissippi State’s partners on the grant include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services and Tech 20/20, the lead grant applicant.

The regional consortium’s proposal was selected through a federal multi-agency competition called the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.

The grant enables Pellissippi State to offer a certificate in Additive Manufacturing and update existing curricula. It funds more than $250,000 in scholarships for students in Advanced Manufacturing courses.

Additive manufacturing describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material, whether the material is plastic, metal or concrete. Using 3D printers, companies can create prototypes quickly, with less waste and cost than traditional methods. In addition, additive manufacturing is being used more and more to make finished products.

The certificate will be offered through BCS and Engineering Technology.

International Education

Study abroad by American students has more than tripled over the past two decades. During the 2010-11 academic year, 174 Pellissippi State students studied abroad, making the college the top two-year school in the U.S. in terms of the number of study abroad students.

The numbers come from the most recent Open Doors Report, published annually by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

A key factor in Pellissippi State’s study abroad success is its robust scholarship program. Funded through the international education fee, study abroad scholarships at Pellissippi State total more than $300,000 each year.

“Our study abroad programs are designed to help students earn credits towards degrees and to develop a broader understanding of the world in which they study, live, and work,” said Wise.

“Scholarship support allows our students to travel to places they might never have imagined. Very often they come back better students and citizens and with a much better sense of who they are and what they want to do.”

Testing deadlines announced for prospective Pellissippi State Nursing students

Students who wish to apply for admission to the Nursing program at Pellissippi State Community College for fall 2013 have a critical testing deadline to meet before the start of February 2013.

New applicants must complete the TEAS V (Test of Essential Academic Skills, version 5) exam no later than Jan. 31. Day, evening and weekend testing hours are available.

Although the deadline is three months away, testing slots fill quickly, so early registration is recommended. Classes for the fall 2013 term begin in August.

Nursing applications and transcripts also must be submitted to Pellissippi State by the deadline of Jan. 31. Admission to Pellissippi State is required before applying to the Nursing program.

The TEAS V exam is offered at all five locations of Pellissippi State. The cost of the test is $40. Registration may be completed online at www.atitesting.com/ati_store/.

For more information on the exam, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State Nursing degree program receives full approval from state board

Pellissippi State Community College’s Nursing program has received full approval for its associate’s degree from the Tennessee Department of Health’s Board of Nursing.

The state board voted on the approval Aug. 22 in Nashville. The accomplishment sets the stage for Pellissippi State to pursue national accreditation for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing.

“I’m very proud of our students and faculty,” said Larry Goins, Pellissippi State’s dean of Nursing. Receiving full approval, he says, is a testament to the hard work of the Nursing faculty, staff and students. It is also a reflection of the contributions of the administration and faculty beyond the program. All of them play a part in student success, says Goins.

Full approval by the board means that the program is providing a quality experience for the Nursing students, and that ultimately benefits the health of the entire community.

The state board’s action is the culmination of many successful steps that Pellissippi State has taken in implementing the program. In February, the board carried out a two-day campus visit and on-site survey. The board reviewer evaluated the program, curriculum, and degree and conducted interviews with faculty, staff, students, and nurse educators at hospitals where students engage in clinical training.

In May, Pellissippi State’s first class of Nursing students graduated. The students received a 97 percent first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. Students who pass the NCLEX-RN are licensed to practice as registered nurses in the state of Tennessee.

Pellissippi State’s associate’s degree in Nursing requires 66 credit hours of coursework, taken over four semesters. Currently, there are 110 Pellissippi State students on track to become registered nurses. Those students attend classes at the Blount County Campus or Magnolia Avenue Campus.

In addition to state approval, the associate’s degree program has received Candidacy Status from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The NLNAC has invited Pellissippi State’s Nursing program to complete and submit a written self-study in the multi-step process of achieving accreditation.

Once the self-study is completed, an NLNAC site visit will be conducted and a governing board review will take place to determine the program’s accreditation status.

To learn more about Pellissippi State’s Nursing program, visit www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400.

Pellissippi State’s Nursing program graduates first class

Pellissippi State President Anthony Wise, at left, congratulates Kelly Nelson, recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award in Nursing. Nelson is one of 29 members of the college's first Nursing class graduating May 4.

Commencement is just days away for Pellissippi State Community College’s first class of Nursing students.

Since the start of the program in fall 2010, students have balanced lectures, labs and clinical rotations each semester while preparing for the rigorous test that licenses and enables registered nurses to practice: the NCLEX-RN exam.

The students’ growth has impressed Pellissippi State’s dean of Nursing, Larry Goins.

“To see the confidence as they grow in this nursing program is just wonderful,” said Goins, a nursing educator of 20 years.

Most of the upcoming graduates are “non-traditional”—they range in age from 21-56. Theirs is a diverse group overall, says Goins. Most are parents, and one is a grandparent. Three students have bachelor’s degrees, one has a master’s, and several have other health-care certifications or licensures. Career changers are not uncommon in this group.

A trend is under way in the nursing profession: an increasing number of men are committed to working in the demanding profession. Of the 29 students in the college’s first graduating class, seven are male.

Kelly Nelson is the premier recipient of Pellissippi State’s Outstanding Graduate in Nursing Award.

Nelson, a 55-year-old retired firefighter and paramedic, started taking classes part time at the Hardin Valley Campus about four years ago. He moved to Vonore from Tucson, Ariz., after a 30-year career with the Tucson Fire Department.

A lifelong learner, Nelson already has associate’s degrees in fire science, paramedicine and liberal arts from Pima Community College. He also taught fire science as an adjunct faculty member for 15 years at Pima. He likes math and science, so he enrolled first in anatomy and physiology at Pellissippi State.

“After I took classes for probably a couple of semesters,” he said, “it just seemed like I was taking all the prerequisite courses for the Nursing program, and that was right up my alley because of my medical background in the fire department.

“It seemed like a good fit. My wife is a nurse, and I’ve got a daughter-in-law who is a nurse.”

When Pellissippi State announced the approval of the program in September 2009, Nelson decided to apply. There are nine nursing schools in the Knoxville area, but he applied only to Pellissippi State and says it has worked out great.

“I would have to say, as a group, I was concerned that I was going to be the oldest. I’m certainly one of the oldest,” he said. “The group is an older group, a lot of life experience and different careers and backgrounds.

“There are a couple of young people, but I think mostly it’s more experienced people—a diverse group, I would say, a very capable group, an enjoyable group of people.”

There are two sites for the Nursing program at Pellissippi State: the Magnolia Avenue Campus and the Blount County Campus. Both have state-of-the-art simulation laboratories. Every semester, students combine classroom lectures, lab work and clinical rotations.

The Nursing program arranged clinical rotations at 22 sites in eight counties for the first class. The variety gives students experience in a number of settings, with patients in rural and urban areas. Striking that balance prepares them to meet a range of needs and improves the students’ prospects for employment.

Pellissippi State admitted a group of 40 students for the first class. Twenty-nine are anticipated to take part in a private pinning ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus and in the Commencement ceremony at the University of Tennessee’s Thompson-Boling Arena the next day at 7 p.m.

“That gives us a 73 percent rate of retention, which is really good for nursing,” said Goins. “Usually it’s about 50 percent for a nursing class.”

The next class begins fall semester, and it will be larger. Goins anticipates an incoming class of 60 students.

Learn more about Pellissippi State Community College’s Nursing program at www.pstcc.edu/departments/nursing or (865) 694-6400.