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Union alum creates website to promote nursing

JACKSON, Tenn.Feb. 7, 2002 – In a time where there is a declining national trend in the number of students studying nursing, one Union nursing graduate has attempted to do something about it. Jackson resident Chris White (‘01) has completed a new website with a twofold purpose both to promote nursing as a profession as well as Union’s School of Nursing. The site, located at http://www.uu.edu/dept/nursing/about, is a very informative account of the field and what it has to offer.

“The site is designed to introduce students to the field of nursing,” White explained, “as well as give them a little practical information about the field.” A project he completed for credit towards his master of science in nursing (MSN) degree, White put the site together as a form of communication that would be widely used by high school students.

“I wanted to use a medium that people had access to and would be likely to look at. There’s not a student from elementary school who doesn’t have some kind of access to a computer,” said White.

White is a three-time graduate from Union, first completing a bachelor of science in business administration in 1994. After graduation, he soon discovered that business was not really the field that he wanted to be in. After speaking with a friend who was an orderly at a local hospital, White was persuaded to look into the medical field. After completing his EMT certification and working in the emergency department at Jackson General Hospital, White soon had to make a decision of whether to pursue a paramedical degree or one in nursing. Because of the opportunities for “upward mobility” presented to nurses, White returned to Union to earn his bachelor of science in nursing in 2000 and his master’s in 2001.

As a nursing student, White was very involved in the various programs the department offered, including Sigma Theta Tau International, Tennessee Nurses Association, and the American Nurses Association.

“Part of the reason that I want to encourage others to join the department is the vast amount of opportunities nurses have,” said White. “A majority of today’s nurses are over forty, making the job market wide open for recent graduates. After getting involved in the program, nurses have many options for careers in an expanding market that includes in-home care, hospital work, administration, and other personal programs.” Also, for the second year in a row, nursing has been acknowledged as the most trusted profession in national survey.

“There is such a need for nurses,” White said. “If someone has a degree in nursing, they’ll never have to worry about finding a job.”

White designed the site to make up for the lack of good information about nursing available online. The site is easy to navigate with pages focusing on educational requirements, career outlook, salary expectations, as well as offsite links to other useful sites. The site is simple in design, not overwhelmed by graphics that slow loading time.

“The site really seeks to meet a need for individuals seeking information electronically,” said Jill Webb, associate professor of nursing who directs the MSN program and is touted by White as one of his major influences at Union. “The information it contains is accurate and current.”

Webb added that while she hopes the site will help generate inquiries to the Union School of Nursing, she hopes that on a more global level, the site will encourage young adults to enter nursing as a career.

“Nursing is quite rewarding, requiring intellectual discipline, knowledge, love for your fellow humans, common sense, and a cooperative spirit,” stated Webb.

White wants to encourage people to check out the new site and perhaps get a new view of this rewarding career.

“Nursing has something for everybody,” White said. “No matter who you are or what you’re looking for, you can find it in nursing.”

By Jody Webster ('04)

Media contact: Sara B. Horn, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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