TSU Equips Students For Top Careers In Health Sciences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Health Sciences has thriving programs that prepare students for six of the top 25 best healthcare jobs listed in a recent article published by U.S. News & World Report.

The jobs included as part of the magazine’s 2020 Best Health Care Jobs list, are: nurse practitioner, speech language pathologist, registered nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist and respiratory therapist.

Dr. Ronald Barredo, Dean of the College of Health Sciences, says there will always be a great need for these healthcare jobs.   

“The good thing about healthcare is as long as there is sickness in the world, we will always have a job,” says Barredo.

Tierney Curtis (Photo Submitted)

Tierney Curtis, a graduate student in the occupational therapy program, says attending TSU gives her a great advantage as a future healthcare professional.

“Nashville is already a booming healthcare city so most of your clinical work and opportunities include going out into the Nashville community, and meeting people and making connections,” says Curtis, who received an undergraduate degree in health sciences from TSU in 2018. “I think the health sciences program at TSU is one of the best here in Nashville because they offer so many programs. We have professors that are here to help you that have been across different spans of healthcare.”

A West Memphis, Arkansas native, Curtis says she hopes to stay in Nashville after she graduates from TSU and work at a hospital in acute care, or work in pediatrics with outpatients, or in the school system.

Future Physical Therapist Zachary Prudoff says although he enjoys working with amputees, he is unsure what area of physical therapy he wants to explore as a profressional.

Zachary Prudoff, a doctoral candidate in the TSU Department of Physical Therapy,checks a patient’s blood pressure before administering a mobility test. (Photo Submitted)

“I think as I go through more classes, I get to understand the profession as a whole a little bit more, and it starts to help clue me in on what type of patients I might like to work with in the field, says Prudoff, who is a doctoral candidate in the department of Physical Therapy.

He says developing relationships with faculty is extremely important.

“In grad school, especially in physical therapy, our teachers are sometimes our greatest resources and it’s very important to foster a relationship of communication and mutual respect. They have been out in the field and practicing. They know things that you don’t know for sure, and they are there to help you.”

Barredo says all six of the programs that made U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Healthcare Jobs list are accredited at TSU. He says the programs in the TSU College of Health Sciences are in high demand.

“We’ve always had a lot more applicants than there are slots in the program, some more than others,” says Barredo, who is a recipient of the Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association, the association’s highest award. “For example, in physical therapy last year we had about 200 applicants for only 36 slots, and that’s true for most every program.”

Dr. Ronald Barredo (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

This fall each of the six health sciences programs noted in the study, with the exception of the speech language pathology program which already has a clinic at the TSU Avon Williams Campus, will relocate into a new $38 million facility. 

Barredo says the shared space will provide opportunities for students to get a more comprehensive view of  the collaborative roles of health science professionals.

“Right now we are all separated in different buildings. So now there will be a lot more interpersonal collaboration in terms of patient care, research and service activities,” he says. “Instead of us doing things separately, we will be more consolidated and able to demonstrate that there is a lot more to healthcare than physical therapy, for example.”

Antoinette Duke, associate director of the TSU Career Development Center, says students such as those in the College of Health Sciences can visit the university’s career center to utilize a wide array of resources to prepare for life beyond TSU.

Antoinette Duke, associate director of TSU’s Career Development Center, advises student during 2020 Spring Internship Fair. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“We are doing everything in our power to partner with student organizations, the faculty, the staff and the professors to help them encourage our students to utilize this service that is there for them,” says Duke. “We have several resources to help prepare them.  For instance, if the student is not prepared for interviewing, one of the resources we have is Interview Stream. It allows our students to tap into that service to practice before they meet with a potential company or employer.”

For more information about the TSU College of Health Sciences, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/

For more information on the TSU Career Development Center, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/careers/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.