New Summer Semester Allows School of Nursing to Accept More Students

Nationwide, the demand for entry into nursing programs is greater than the number of seats available. That dilemma can be seen firsthand at Southern as qualified students are put on a wait list each year. But starting in May the university will begin offering a 12-week summer term that is the academic equivalent of a third semester, allowing 70 additional students into the School of Nursing every other year without straining facility or faculty resources.

New Nursing CohortSummer provides a much-needed study reprieve for many, and the modified schedule affords that same rest period for all students at staggered times throughout the year. New students enter the nursing program during each of the three semesters and stay on an academic track with others who started at the same time. These cohorts—groups of students who work through the curriculum simultaneously and graduate with the same academic degree together—study for two consecutive terms and then take one term off. So while some students enjoy “summer break” in the actual summer, other cohorts are taking their three-month break during fall and winter seasons.

“We’re excited to offer our students, and potential students, an increased variety of options,” said Marc Grundy, vice president for Enrollment Services. “Nursing is Southern’s first academic area to try this approach, but there are many higher education institutions across the country that make greater use of their resources during the summer with programs similar to this.”

To encourage initial enrollment into this new cohort, Southern has prepared several financial incentives unique to this program. Scholarships, reduced housing costs, and other waived fees total more than $2,200 for residential students. This is above and beyond any additional monetary assistance the student has been awarded.

Florida Hospital HallAlthough there are other nursing programs available in the Chattanooga area, many students—including non-Adventists—increasingly seek out Southern for their education. And while the School of Nursing graduates students with a consistently high pass rate on licensure exams, employers reward these young professionals with jobs for reasons outside of just their book knowledge.

“Our faculty and staff come from the same philosophical and religious roots and work as a team to create a family atmosphere,” said Barbara James, dean for the School of Nursing. “Students gain practice in skills and simulation labs, but where Southern’s nursing program excels most is in offering true education that encompasses and supports the development of a Christian professional prepared to serve their local or global community.”

Students taking classes in the summer will enjoy many of the same co-curricular opportunities available to those in fall and winter terms, including a variety of worship and mission opportunities. Not normally available during that time of the year, these elements have been added through the prayerful and deliberate efforts of multiple departments on campus to ensure that those in the new summer cohort do not miss out on key components that help create the Southern Experience.

For more information about this new enrollment option, email

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