By TOMI L. WILEYSpecial to The Wilson Post
MT. JULIET -- Mt. Juliet will be the home of a new Cumberland University nursing program, officials confirmed Tuesday, as the Cumberland Health Career Professional Center will begin offering classes in a Shiloh Plaza location in January.
Dr. Harvill Eaton, president of Cumberland University, confirmed Tuesday that his plans to locate a satellite campus in Mt. Juliet are “taking shape,” and a deal has been inked to offer classes in Shiloh Plaza (in the space currently occupied by Furniture & Bedding Direct, closing due to the retirement of its owners) as well as lab classes in Environmental Science Corporation, located on Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet. It was finding the lab space, Eaton said, that had slowed down the process.
A press conference has been set for Friday to officially announce the new program.
Eaton explained that the nursing program will not be geared toward recent high school graduates who want to become nurses. Instead this “professional development” program is aimed at working adults with a Baccalaureate degree in another field who want to get into the health care business or working adults with at least “two years under their belts.” Those two years, in traditional undergrad programs, include the basic biology classes necessary but not the advanced courses needed for nursing: microbiology and anatomy and physiology. The lab space necessary to offer those biology courses, not available in the Shiloh space, was fulfilled by Environmental Science Corporation.
Eaton said he “firmed up” the deal on Friday with ESC, working with Chief Operating Officer Peter Schulert.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” Eaton said Tuesday. “The students get to do labs in the ninth largest environmental services center in the country – a phenomenal corporation – and Cumberland gets to have state-of-the-art facilities close to our classes at Shiloh as well as in Mt. Juliet.”
Cumberland’s “cracker jack” nursing school currently has approximately 260 students enrolled, Eaton said, with around 135 more people who have expressed an interest in enrolling in the new professional development center if it located in Mt. Juliet.
“This program has grown by leaps and bounds,” Eaton said. “I can’t imagine a more in-demand Baccalaureate program than nursing right now.”
Eaton urged working adults interested in pursuing an education and degree in nursing or the health professional field to contact him at 547-1223. Classes are scheduled to begin in January.
“We’ve seen the need for working adult programs of this nature in the area,” Eaton said, “and we’re excited about providing convenient and state-of-the-art facilities in Mt. Juliet.”
Editor’s Note: Tomi L. Wiley is the editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. She may be contacted at Editor@thechronicleofmtjuliet.com.