Students near Sevierville who wish to earn a Bachelor of Nursing degree may now do so at the ETSU Sevierville Center.

“It was really built to grow the nursing presence here in East Tennessee,” said Jennifer Butler, coordinator at the Sevierville Center. “There is a lack of nurses in the area.”

Bulter said that the Sevierville Center had the space and the students to start a BSN program, so they renovated the area where the nursing program is now held. The first class started in the fall of 2018 with 13 students.

“This spring there were 17 students,” Butler said. “This summer there should be a full group of 20 to 24 students.”

The course work for the accelerated BSN program at the Sevierville Center is the same as the accelerated program that is offered at the ETSU main campus. Butler said because it is an accelerated program, students can earn their BSN in a little over a year.

“They do go year round, so it’s five consecutive semesters – 18 months from start to finish,” she said.

Butler said she’s seen the new nursing program in Sevierville benefit students close to the area.

“We do have some students who move to Johnson City,” Butler said. “Once they learned they could earn their degree here, they realized they could stay closer to home.”

The accelerated BSN program will also benefit the area surrounding Sevierville.

“There is a nursing shortage across Tennessee because there isn’t an ingrained program,” Butler said. “This is helping nurses train in their community and want to stay in their community. This will help fill the nursing gap in the community.”

Along with giving students a chance to stay closer to home and help fill the nursing gap in the area, Butler says the size of the program will benefit future students as well.

“Our campus is on the small size with roughly 200 on-ground students,” Butler said. “With class sizes what they are, students can really get to know their instructors and have one on one time with them. It can expand their options. … A lot of people say it’s like they find their home here.”