UTHSC, Methodist tuition-free program offers fast track to nursing career

With the nation facing a widespread nursing shortage, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare have teamed up to produce nursing students at a faster pace, at no cost to the student.

With the population aging, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 275,000 additional nurses will be needed through 2030.

But the nursing profession continues to face shortages due to a lack of educators, high turnover and inequitable workforce distribution.

Second-career nurses find healing fulfillment while aiding shortage

UTHSC’s College of Nursing — the oldest in Tennessee — recently graduated the first class of nursing students from its Methodist Le Bonheur Scholars program.

The rigorous, 12-month program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field, offering an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has agreed to cover tuition and fees for students who successfully complete the program and pass the the national licensing exam for registered nurses.

In exchange, students commit to working for the health care system for two years following graduation.

The first graduates of the program received their degrees in August and are now working in the Methodist Healthcare System.

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