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Donde Plowman joins UT College of Nursing students at the opening of the BSN Scholars Facility on Aug. 25 at UT Research Park.

The University of Tennessee Medical Center and University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Nursing celebrated the opening of the BSN Scholars Facility with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Aug. 25.

The new state-of-the-art simulation and learning lab were funded by the medical center for the BSN Scholars partnership, a groundbreaking academic-practice partnership that provides nursing students with an unparalleled opportunity to learn at a respected academic medical center. The newly established satellite location at UT Research Park symbolizes the commitment of both institutions to advancing nursing education, preparing future nursing professionals for the challenges of the field, and meeting regional workforce needs.

Victoria Niederhauser, Donde Plowman, Sandy Leake, and Joe Landsman attend the opening of the BSN Scholars Facility on Aug. 25 at UT Research Park.

“This innovative program will allow more students to pursue the health care career they want—changing not only their lives but the lives of patients they care for and the communities they serve,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman, “It’s a testament to what’s possible when you have a partner like UTMC that shares our vision and mission of making life and lives better for Tennesseans.”

Victoria Niederhauser, College of Nursing dean and Sara Rosenbalm Croley Endowed Dean’s Chair, spoke at the event, telling the crowd how the partnership was formed.

“We knew that the old tactics were not going to solve today’s nursing workforce issue, so together we built a new approach to increase the recruitment pool — the BSN Nurse Scholars Program,” Niederhauser said. “This program not only accelerates academic learning but also bridges the transition from classroom education to the clinical setting. I commend the commitment of UTMC for providing financial support and enabling nursing students to gain valuable experience at the very institution they will eventually serve.”

Also speaking at the ceremony were Joe Landsman, CEO of UTMC and Sandy Leake, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at UTMC.

As attendees looked on, representatives of both institutions came together for the ribbon cutting that symbolically inaugurated the new facility. The gesture underscored the unity of purpose driving the endeavor and marked the beginning of an exciting new chapter in nursing education.

Following the ceremony, attendees were invited into the facility for tours and refreshments.


Cindi King (865-974-0937,

Kara Clark (865-974 9498,