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GALLATIN, TN – Welch College President, Matt Pinson, has announced a collaborative relationship with three universities to address the increasing demand for nurses. Belmont University, Cumberland University, and Union University Hendersonville have each agreed to create a seamless path for Welch College students to be admitted to their respective Schools of Nursing. Go to welch.edu/nursing for more information.

According to Pinson, Welch freshman will pursue an associate’s degree with a Pre-Nursing/Biology major at Welch. Students will be able to take advantage of the Tennessee Promise as well as other federal and Welch based financial aid.  These students will begin volunteering in a healthcare setting, primarily within the HighPoint Healthcare System.

Upon completing the Welch College associate’s degree, graduates will choose from one of three nursing education paths at partner universities. Nursing students may then continue accessing Welch housing and other student support to promote the likelihood of academic success.  When appropriate, nursing students will participate in clinical education settings in Gallatin and Sumner County.  Welch students will be mentored and advised throughout the four-year academic process.

Charles Lea, Special Assistant to the President at Welch College, worked with each institution to put the collaborative agreement together. “Each cooperating university will work within the guidelines of the agreement to guarantee entrance into Nursing School,” Lea stated. “Union University Hendersonville, which has previously only offered adult degree opportunities in Nursing, will develop a traditional track for traditional undergraduates,” he added. Delays many students face seeking admission to Nursing School will be eliminated, according to Lea.

Welch is making a considerable investment in faculty, equipment, and instructional materials to make sure participants in this new program are well prepared and qualified for the rigors of nursing majors.  Corporate sponsors and grant applications have been made to offset the start-up cost of this new educational initiative.

HighPoint Health System has already contributed $25,000 to the initiative. Susan Peach, CEO of Sumner Regional Hospital, presented the gift to Welch for the program. “My hope is that this partnership between these schools will fill the need for more nurses in the midstate,” Peach stated.

Contact Dr. Charles Lea at Welch College for more information about this program. Welch College is located on a beautiful new campus in Gallatin on Bison Trail. Visit Welch.edu or call 615-675-5225.

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