TWC's Fort Sanders Nursing Department celebrates milestones

Posted on: December 4, 2012

Friday, November 30, the college held a 10-year reunion that brought together students from Fort Sander's first graduating class as well as former and current nursing faculty.

Ten years ago Tennessee Wesleyan College graduated its first class of Fort Sanders nurses. Throughout the last ten years, the Fort Sanders Nursing Department has graduated more than 400 nurses whose TWC education prepared them for lives of significance, leadership and service through a quality baccalaureate nursing education.

Friday, November 30, the college held a 10-year reunion that brought together students from Fort Sander’s first graduating class as well as former and current nursing faculty. The reunion was a gathering that celebrated the achievements and milestones of both the former students and the program throughout the last ten years.

“You are pioneers,” said TWC President Dr. Harley Knowles, who addressed the first Fort Sanders nursing graduates at the event. “As the inaugural class, you were the first of a long line of quality nurses who have graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan and continued on to provide exemplary patient care within the healthcare system.”

“What makes me proud of Tennessee Wesleyan and particularly the nursing program is the tremendous impact that we have on the lives of people. I was talking with someone from Covenant, asking them what Tennessee Wesleyan means to them, and I was told that every year Covenant employs at least 50 TWC graduates. I continuously hear through various healthcare professionals and even patients that have been in your care, how kind, intelligent and talented TWC nursing graduates are.”

In addition to working for healthcare providers including Knoxville’s Covenant Health, a leader in East Tennessee healthcare, many Fort Sanders nursing graduates have also continued their academic journeys in higher education.

“I appreciate so much what you all have done,” said Jean Bernard, a TWC associate professor of nursing. “It’s rewarding to know that you didn’t stop your lifelong learning. Many of you have continued your nursing careers as practitioners while continuing your academic careers working toward master’s and doctorate degrees. Your dedication to your patients and your education is inspiring.”

Since 2002’s inaugural graduating class, TWC’s Fort Sanders Nursing Department has grown to become a leader in higher education in the healthcare field. The program has access to clinical sites in Knoxville, Tenn., and other surrounding areas including the facilities of Covenant Health and various comprehensive integrated healthcare delivery systems. Other clinical facilities include East Tennessee Children's Hospital, as well as community health and nursing home sites.

The Fort Sanders Nursing Department uses a variety of teaching strategies to facilitate the active participation of the student in the learning process. A completely online RN to BSN degree recently joined the college’s traditional BSN program to offer a flexible learning environment to nursing students who are already working and are looking to continue their education while maintaining their career responsibilities.

“Knowing about this program is one of the key elements that brought me to Tennessee Wesleyan,” said Dr. Suzanne Hine, TWC vice president of academic affairs. “The program is indeed exemplary and our extraordinary faculty prepare graduates who are second to none.”

For more information on the Fort Sanders Nursing Department, contact Nancy Ferguson, admissions coordinator for the nursing department, at 865-777-5100 or by email at