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How Austin Peay is handling the nursing crisis

Tennessee could face a shortage of at least 9,400 nurses by 2020 if measures arent taken to attract more students to the profession, according to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.

Dr. Kathy L. Martin, RN, CNAA and director of the School of Nursing at Austin Peay, says that, like many schools, the APSU School of Nursing is unable to expand its enrollment due to limited resources.

While the University currently cannot expand capacity in the classroom, Martin says she and her faculty are exploring expansion on the Web.
Tennessee could face a shortage of at least 9,400 nurses by 2020 if measures aren't taken to attract more students to the profession, according to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association.

Dr. Kathy L. Martin, RN, CNAA and director of the School of Nursing at Austin Peay, says that, like many schools, the APSU School of Nursing is unable to expand its enrollment due to limited resources.

While the University currently cannot expand capacity in the classroom, Martin says she and her faculty are exploring expansion on the Web.

“We have transitioned the RN-BSN degree completion program to an online format to increase accessibility for the working RN,” she says. “We anticipate the opening of a new online MSN program in Fall 2004.”

In addition, Austin Peay is preparing to address the predicted statewide shortage of nursing faculty. According to the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association's report, the average age of nursing professors across the state is 51. Half are expected to retire in the next five years.

Martin says, “One focus of the new MSN program will be to prepare nurse educators to help address the severe nursing faculty shortage. It's one of the resource limitations inhibiting our ability to expand enrollment within the undergraduate nursing program.”
—Rebecca Mackey