Donation by State Farm agents help insure future of TTU's School of Nursing

It might best be described as a gift to insure the health of Tennessee Tech University’s School of Nursing.

A group of local State Farm insurance agents decided to donate to the university’s campaign to raise $21 million for a new School of Nursing facility, and with dollar for dollar matching funds from the State Farm Foundation, their gift totals $25,000.

In recognition of that generosity, a classroom in the new facility — the first that will be specifically built to accommodate TTU’s 25-year-old nursing program — will be named in honor of State Farm and the individual agents who contributed to the campaign.

Those agents include Phil Marshall of Overton County and Carolyn Morrison, Joe Wilson and Suzanne Worrell, all of Putnam County.

“We recognize TTU’s need for a new nursing facility because it will help local students who are interested in pursuing a nursing career get a quality education without having to leave the Upper Cumberland,” Worrell said.

It’s already the region’s prime source of registered nurses, and while a national nursing shortage that projects up to a million job vacancies by 2010 is forcing medical facilities in some areas to seek nurses educated in other countries, many credit TTU’s program with helping to alleviate such severe nursing shortages here.

“In fact, most people can now get the medical services they need right here in the Upper Cumberland because of a local commitment to providing quality health care, and we want to see TTU’s nursing program keep pace,” Morrison said.

A new building would help the academic program do that by providing state-of-the-art classrooms, clinical labs and faculty facilities, a 300-seat auditorium and other conference and meeting rooms, an updated Student Health Services facility and a $4 million Rural Health Center of Excellence.

In addition to technological progress, though, quality nursing also requires the need for a human touch.

“You can’t teach nursing the same way you teach engineering, business or any other program. It requires small classes and hands-on experience because computers alone just can’t take care of sick people,” Wilson said.

Marshall agreed, saying, “I support TTU’s fundraising effort for a new nursing building because it’s an endeavor to further the progress of both higher education and health care in the Upper Cumberland.”

For more information about the nursing campaign, call University Development at 931/372-3055 or check out the “Giving to TTU” link on the university homepage at www.tntech.edu.

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