Andrew College on track to offer nursing degree

Andrew College is on track toward offering an associate's degree in nursing, starting in the fall of 2017.

Andrew's board of trustees has authorized a plan to seek accreditation from the Georgia Board of Nursing and approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to establish the new program, the junior college announced Thursday.

Cuthbert Mayor and Andrew trustee Steve Whatley said in a news release, "This new degree program will have a profound impact on our local community, desperate for qualified healthcare providers. It's a win-win for both the college and for our citizens."

Among the standards for accreditation, the Georgia Board of Nursing requires an institution to hire its nursing director a year and a half before the program's first students arrive. Andrew has hired Darton State College assistant chairwoman of nursing Debra Hairr for that role. She will begin her new position full time May 5, according to the release.

"The hiring of Debra Hairr, who will lead us through the Georgia Board of Nursing's accreditation, is one of the biggest hurdles in this process," Andrew president Linda Buchanan said in the release.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow him on Twitter@MarkRiceLE.