Christian Brothers Nursing Degree Program Announcement

The Tennessee State Board of Nursing recently approved plans by Christian Brothers University to start an entry-level Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (, which will now begin accepting students for this fall. The BSN program was instituted to help address the shortage of qualified nurses in Memphis and the Mid-South region. Also, CBU is now the only Catholic nursing program in the state of Tennessee and the only one in the entire area from St. Louis to New Orleans. Please see the attached CBU news release on the announcement along with the Channel 5 news segment and the MBJ article below.  Rick Ouellette, Office of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Memphis 


CBU Launches Nursing Degree Program to Help with Workforce Shortage, by Jason Bolton – Data Editor, Memphis Business Journal

Feb 20, 2020, 4:01pm CST Updated Feb 20, 2020, 5:33pm CST

Beginning in Fall 2020, Christian Brothers University will enroll its first students in a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, CBU announced Thursday, Feb. 20.
The Tennessee State Board of Nursing approved plans for the program, and it is also accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. CBU cited a shortage of nurses as a key reason for establishing the BSN program.
“We are excited to expand our nursing offerings to include a traditional, entry-level BSN program,” Jennifer Hitt-Mayo, director of the nursing program in CBU’s School of Sciences, said in a release. “Seeing the vital need for more registered nurses in Memphis and Shelby County, we created this program out of necessity. Memphis simply needs more nurses. Period.”
CBU’s traditional BSN program will take two years to complete, and after graduation, nurses will be eligible to apply for registered nurse (RN) licensure. As nursing has evolved, the BSN degree has become an entry-level benchmark for nursing.
The BSN program is designed for CBU’s Health Science majors who after their first two years want to become an RN. Applicants must apply and be admitted for pre-nursing to progress to the BSN program.
Transfer students can also apply to the BSN program if they have the necessary college credits.
According to the School of Sciences’ dean James McGuffee, the BSN program will complement the school’s existing physician assistant (PA) program and the RN-to-BSN program for working RNs to attain the BSN degree. CBU will have its first PA program graduates this year — a group of about 20 — who completed the two-and-a-half year program.
McGuffee said that the BSN program is looking to bring in about 30 transfer students with necessary prerequisites to begin the program as juniors. Those could come from local community colleges, for instance. And, he thinks there is enough interest to bring in about 60 students as incoming freshman this fall majoring in health sciences. As juniors and seniors, those incoming freshman would join the BSN program.
Because of a 50% attrition rate — students leaving the program for a number of reasons — CBU’s goal is to get to 60 to 80 freshman enrolled who have an interest in attaining the BSN degree. To educate those students, CBU will have two faculty members and is currently searching for a third to join as an assistant professor of nursing.
In addition to coursework, CBU’s BSN program students will have options for clinical experiences, including in Memphis and “study-abroad learning choices.”
“We don’t have the ink dry yet … but all of the major hospitals have talked to us, and they’re interested in [nursing students] because of the major shortage,” McGuffee said.
Coursework is scheduled around clinical work to give students that critical hands-on experience.
Beyond the BSN program, CBU could branch out into graduate nursing programs, depending on demand. McGuffee said CBU asks health employers what their needs are and where they see graduate education going.
“What are the needs in Memphis in nursing, is it an expansion into a graduate [nursing degree]? We’re not there yet, but we’re open to [that],” he said.
Addressing the health care workforce needs in the community have grown out of a question posed in July by CBU’s new president, Jack Shannon.
“Our president has challenged us to see: What are the health needs in the Mid South, and what can CBU do?” McGuffee said.


Link to the Channel 5 News Segment:



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