Burgeoning School of Nursing program increases reach in OxfordPublished on Monday, February 11, 2019By: Kate Royals, email@example.comBeginning in the fall, the University of Mississippi School of Nursing will expand its footprint in Oxford with a new space and more students.StewartThe next cohort of students pursuing the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will number 45, an increase from this year’s class of 30. The eventual goal is to admit 60 students each year, according to Dr. Mary Stewart, interim dean for the School of Nursing.And students will be doing their work in a new space: the South Oxford Center, or what was formerly the old Baptist Memorial Hospital before being purchased by the University of Mississippi in 2017.The hospital’s former intensive care unit will be converted to a high-fidelity simulation practice lab for nursing students.“With 12 bays, faculty will be able to run several scenarios simultaneously,” Stewart described. “In the end, space matters. Having this dedicated area for the School of Nursing will enrich the educational experiences for students.”Dr. Eva Tatum, left, assistant professor of nursing at Oxford, shows a future simulation lab to students Piercen Burchfield, center, Katelyn Hazelgrove and Charles Gill.The decision to grow the program was based on the demand from both applicants and the work force. In addition, students pursuing their accelerated nursing degree undergo a more intense schedule and need different resources and spaces than a traditional undergraduate student requires.Baptist Memorial Hospital's old Intensive Care Unit will be renovated into 12 high-fidelity simulation practice labs.“The A-BSN requires intensive study for 12 months. Students do not work outside school, so they spend much of their time in classes, labs, clinicals and other program-related activities,” said Stewart. “They need space for all of these things. Additionally, students need dedicated areas to study, work on projects and sometimes simply retreat for some solitude. The new space affords all of these opportunities and more.”The School of Nursing is currently housed on two floors in Kinard Hall on the Ole Miss campus. The new space in the South Oxford Center will include an administrative suite for faculty and other offices, a 60-student classroom with full technological abilities, student lounges and other common areas.Dr. Eva Tatum, assistant professor of nursing on the Oxford campus, has overseen much of the planning for the expansion.Chad Hunter, left, associate university architect, shows what will become the 60-student classroom to Dr. Eva Tatum, right, assistant professor of nursing, and School of Nursing students, from left, Piercen Burchfield, Katelyn Hazelgrove and Charles Gill.“We can’t grow (without more space),” Tatum explained. “There’s all this talk of nursing shortages, and our accelerated students really are highly desired as nursing graduates by employers.”The School of Nursing in Jackson began offering the accelerated nursing program in 2006, and UMMC is the only institution in the state to offer an accelerated nursing degree for students who already have one degree. The program has been offered in Oxford since 2014. The Accelerated BSN program is designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree in another field and wish to change career paths quickly. It contains a continuous three-semester curriculum in which students participate in clinical training and classroom instruction.The goal on the Oxford campus is to collaborate with the Health Professions Advising Office to promote the program and develop pipelines for current Ole Miss students, especially in programs such as nutrition and biology, to easily move into this degree, Stewart said.For more information on the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, click here.For more information on the South Oxford Center, click here.