By Mandi Enger
A feeling of excitement and anticipation filled a classroom at the Clinical Simulation Center on May 18, 2012 as three new cohorts of Nevada State College nursing students arrived for the program orientation. The 48 nursing majors were recently accepted into the highly competitive program and will begin taking classes during the fall semester starting on August 20.
During the orientation, the new cohorts were welcomed by the NSC nursing faculty, President Bart Patterson, current students in the program, and the Student Nursing Association.
Nursing school is unique because it involves more than just book knowledge. While it does require you to be a good book learner, it also requires you to have a sense of what’s right and what’s moral, Assistant Dean Sherri Coffman said to the group as the orientation opened. Additionally, you need to have a good sense of who you are as a person; how you can be a therapeutic presence in the life of your patient; and how you can interact with patients in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident that you know what you are doing.
Students were also encouraged by Coffman to recognize the importance of classmate encouragement and support. Know that you will form friendships during nursing school that will last a lifetime, she said.
Juniors and seniors then introduced the newly accepted students to the program by sharing lessons they had learned early in their studies such as: form study groups early, build strong organizational habits, and attend open lab as often as possible.
Nursing is more than a profession, it is a way of life, stated Jesse Collier, a fourth-year nursing student as he shared his admiration and appreciation for the nursing faculty and other students in the program. Collier and his wife, Allison Collier, who also spoke to the new groups, are working to complete their BSN degrees in May of 2013.
NSC admits nursing students into three program cohorts during both the fall and spring semesters including: regular, part-time and accelerated tracks.
We are able to accept 16 of the top applicants to each program track to maintain a 1-to-8 faculty-to-student ratio, said Dean Shirlee Snyder. Our standards are set high to prepare our students for the intensive nature of the BSN coursework.
While program applicants are required to have a 3.0 GPA in nursing prerequisite classes, students are encouraged to achieve a 3.5 average or higher in order to remain competitive.
It’s an amazing feeling to have been accepted to the nursing program as I’ve worked really hard for the last couple years to complete my prerequisite courses, said Linda Cirillo, a regular track student starting the program this fall. Working through the next couple years will be an amazing journey. I’m looking forward to new challenges and ultimately being able to help patients in my care.
This fall’s groups is quite diverse which will really add to the students learning but also to the nursing profession overall, added Snyder.
Approximately 700 students have graduated with Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees since the college’s first commencement ceremony in 2004. Currently, there are 385 total students enrolled in the program.