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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee-s Homeland Security Nursing graduate program — the first of its kind in the nation — is currently in its second semester, and students are learning from some of the most prominent homeland security offices in the state and country.

Susan Speraw, director of the program, will speak on the program-s first semester and their goals for the future at noon on Feb. 17 in rooms C-D of Thompson Boling Arena. She will speak as part of the ongoing Science Forum, a weekly, non-technical discussion series designed to help others better understand research across many disciplines.

The first students of the program completed research courses in December 2005 and are currently enrolled in homeland security courses including weapons of mass destruction and intent; terrorism ideology; strategic thinking and planning; and the economics of disaster.

Officials from local, state and federal homeland security offices, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, CNN and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center are serving as guest lecturers this semester.

In addition to coursework, students will complete 34 hours of hazardous materials training and participate in a mock disaster situation allowing them to develop a disaster plan as a team.

The degree program, announced in August of 2005, addresses a largely unmet need in public health by preparing nurse leaders, managers and clinical nursing specialists to plan for mass casualty disasters, effectively manage logistics of an event in progress, work cooperatively with local, state and federal officials and responders, and provide direct patient care to victims of trauma or toxic exposure.

For more information about the College of Nursing and the Homeland Security Nursing master’s degree, visit http://nightingale.con.utk.edu

Contact: Susan Speraw (865-974-7586)
Beth Gladden (865-974-9008)