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A new Center for Nursing Practice at the College of Nursing will be established thanks to a generous donation from Richard and Poppy Buchanan. Richard is a retired physician and Poppy served as a public health nurse in Tennessee for a number of years.

Nan Gaylord

“We are proud to promote the excellence of UT’s College of Nursing,” said Poppy Buchanan. “This center will contribute to nurse-led efforts to improve health care in Tennessee and elsewhere.”

Nan Gaylord will serve as director of the center. Gaylord—an associate professor of nursing at UT—currently serves as director of the Vine School Health Clinic.

“We look forward to promoting nursing practice and access to nursing services in Tennessee and the Southeast,” said Gaylord. “It’s truly an honor to serve as the director of this center.”

The mission of the center will be to promote the health of communities through improved access to nursing care. Specifically, this center will support the expansion of nurse-managed clinics in Tennessee and the Southeast.

“The Center for Nursing Practice will advance nursing education, practice, and research across the state,” said Victoria Niederhauser, dean of UT’s College of Nursing. “Expanding nursing knowledge of community partnerships, continuing education, telehealth, and nurse-managed clinics throughout the state will provide a catalyst for positive health outcomes for our citizens.”

One of the main goals of the center is to understand the landscape and opportunities to expand nurse-managed clinics. UT nursing graduate students will conduct a gap analysis to gather this type of data.  Using research findings from the gap analysis, the center’s administrators will plan and execute a nurse-managed health centers conference for practitioners in Tennessee and the Southeast.

The center will oversee a consortium that serves as a forum for dialogue, discussion of best practices, and research on issues related to advancing nursing care and nurse-managed health clinics. Topics may include fiscal responsibility, human resource issues, health policy, credentialing, and billing insurance. Educational sessions will be recorded and made available to Center for Nursing Practice Consortium members.

Another focus of the center is to advance nursing knowledge through continuing education for nurses in the United States and throughout the world.

“Rapid changes in health care amplify the need for nurses to continue lifelong learning through continuing education,” said Gaylord.


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,