UTC to receive new building for School of Nursing

School director hoping enrollment will increase with new facility

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – A new Health Science Building is coming to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The 92,000 square-foot building will include new classrooms, lab spaces and offices.

But perhaps the biggest new addition that the building will bring … is more nurses.

UTC School of Nursing Director, Dr. Christine Smith, certainly hopes that’s the case.

As we were looking for more space, we saw the need for increasing the number of students who are enrolled in our programs because right now, we turn away a significant number of highly qualified students who want to go into the profession,” Smith said. “As everybody knows very well, this is a very important time to educate nurses.”

In a world forever changed by the pandemic, Smith said that UTC and other universities nationwide have worked to increase enrollment in their respective nursing programs.

“There is a prediction of a significant lack of nurses in the field and in education by 2025,” Smith said. “We need to address that.”

Initially, Smith was concerned that the pandemic may scare students away from the field.

However, UTC student nurses have shown her otherwise.

“We are having the same, if not more, students apply,” Smith said. “I actually talked to some of our current students [and] said ‘are you nervous or concerned about what you’re about to walk in to?’ and they said ‘absolutely not.'”

Smith is eager to work with future students and hopes that the new additions to the university will only enhance their academic careers.

According to one UTC official, the next stage of planning should start July 1.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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