The students, faculty and staff at Nebraska Methodist College are second to none. We've always known that. But once again, they continue to amaze us with their kind hearts, compassion and love. This time of year is stressful and hectic for everyone, let alone for college students wrapping up a tough academic semester. But that didn't stop a few of our nursing students from reaching out and showing that they care.
It all started earlier this year...
Nursing instructors, Cathy Barnes and Echo Perlman attended the Jean Watson Introduction to Human Caring Program earlier this year. The program emphasized tactics to help nurses and healthcare professionals fully integrate the science of human caring into their day-to-day practices. As part of the course, the participants were shown a video called "Free Hugs in Italy" that really encompasses the art of human caring. (See video at right.)
Instructors Barnes, Perlman, Casey Frost and Jodi Jensen-Bassett felt compelled to incorporate the "small things" in the classroom to emphasize caring and decrease student anxiety before exams. So this semester before the first exam in the NRS 340 class, the instructors showed the "Free Hugs in Italy" video as the students were coming in the classroom. The faculty held up free hug signs and stood at the front of the room. The students enjoyed this and so it became a ritual before every NRS 340 exam; each time, more students partaking in the "free hugs" from their instructors.
Fast forward to the last day of the fall semester. The final exam. Knowing that the students would be filled with anxiety, excitement and nerves for their final day in this class, the instructors thought they were being clever by bringing Hershey Kisses and Hugs to wish the students well on the final exam. But what happened next, brought tears to their eyes...
Students asked to play the "Free Hugs in Italy" again as a little pep-talk before their exam began. As instructors were distracted getting things set up, the students all took off their coats and sweatshirts to reveal each and everyone of them wearing a purple t-shirt with the words "FREE HUGS" in large pink letters on the front. On the back of the shirt was "Nebraska Methodist College NURSING" with each of the NRS 340 students' and instructors' names. Each instructor was then presented with their own "Free Hugs" t-shirt.
"What amazing students to coordinate something so meaningful and we didn't suspect a thing," said Perlman. "It truly brought us all to tears."
As Jean Watson said herself, "Caring is the essence of nursing." It's safe to say that these students and faculty, fully grasp the meaning of care.
NRS 340 intructors: Cathy Barnes, Casey Frost, Jodi Jensen-Bassett and Echo Perlman.
The life of a healthcare professional can get a little hectic. Balancing work and family life can be a challenge in itself, leaving little free time on the schedule.
Healthcare Degrees Offered Online
For that reason, Nebraska Methodist College offers several online degree programs for those looking to continue their education without pausing their careers. NMC’s online offerings include bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s certificate programs in nursing and health professions.
Online degree programs offer students a flexible alternative to on-campus classes and are great for those who want to continue their education while working full time. Being computer savvy is an advantage, but not a requirement to being an online student. NMC offers students an assessment and an orientation to prepare them for online learning.
To participate in an online course, a student must have access to the required technology — first and foremost, an updated computer in good working order with a strong high-speed internet connection. NMC has an Educational Technology department that supports students with technology questions.
While online learning is different from classroom-based courses, it is an effective form of applied learning. In online courses, students are often tasked with taking information from readings and applying it to researched-based writing, projects and written discussion with their instructor and class. Online courses also encourage participation, which is typically part of a student’s grade. Instructors often stimulate discussion within a class by posting questions that relate to the readings for the week, and students respond to the instructor as well as comments from their classmates.
Healthcare Degrees Online: How To Get Started
Applying for an online program at NMC is a convenient process. Students can typically complete an online application and submit the required application documents, including a resume, written statement and official transcripts, depending upon the program application requirements.
Online students have the same options to pay for college as on-campus students. Just like on-campus students, NMC encourages online students to complete the FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid, and students can apply for scholarships or take advantage of tuition assistance programs through their employer.Our business office can assist students in setting up a payment plan for those who want to pay as they go.
Nurse Educators: Special Opportunity
Students interested in becoming nurse educators have a special opportunity at NMC through the federal Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). Students pursuing nurse educator degrees may be eligible to receive loans that pay for tuition and fees each semester the students are enrolled in the program, fulltime or part-time. Up to 85 percent of the loan may be forgiven if the student serves as full-time nurse faculty for a consecutive four-year period at an accredited school of nursing following completion of the degree program.
"Our aging population continues to escalate the demand for more nurses. We need nurse educators to provide that training," said Linda Foley Ph.D., MSN, RN, director of graduate nursing programs at NMC. "This program provides the incentive and the financial support to recruit the professionals who will be charged with educating that next generation of nurses."
Talk With Admissions Today
For more information about our online degree programs, contact our Admissions department at (402) 354-7200 or email@example.com or request more information here.
Whether you are thinking about pursuing a career in nursing, are already working toward a nursing degree or already in the profession, chances are you’ve heard something about our country’s nursing shortage.
At a time when finding a job is tougher than ever, the nursing field is still in high demand, along with several other healthcare professions. In the next decade, that high demand is expected to continue to rise due to our country’s nursing shortage.
The term “nursing shortage” refers to the shortfalls in desired nurse-to-patient and nurse-to-population ratios as well as what students are probably most concerned with — the number of job openings in the nursing field compared to the number of nursing workforce. For students as well as nurses currently in the field, it’s important to understand the causes and effects of the nursing shortage in order to understand the challenges and opportunities nurses face in the next decade.
What the "Experts" are Saying
While many experts say the nursing shortage has eased recently, they also tend to agree that a far greater nursing shortage looms in the near future like a balloon waiting to pop. That is because the baby boomer population continues age, while at the same time much of the nursing workforce plans to retire.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more than half of nurses surveyed in a 2006 study said they planned to retire before 2020. At the same time, many baby boomers will have already reached their 70s, placing a heavy demand on the healthcare system.
Bloomberg.com published an article earlier this year questioning the current state of the nursing shortage. However, the article agreed that a bigger nursing shortage was on the horizon around 2020. According to Bloomberg, the poor economy has prompted many nurses to hold onto their jobs rather than retire. That stat leads many experts to believe that as the economy recovers, large numbers of nurses will take their overdue retirements. This will take a large bite out of the number of nurses in the workforce, while also leaving large gaps in nursing experience and leadership.
The forecasted shortage presents some big challenges for the nursing field. However, it also presents some great opportunities for nurses not only to find jobs, but to move up into leadership roles sooner in their careers. Nurses’ roles are expanding as the healthcare system also faces a similar shortage of doctors. Those new roles, combined with the need for experience and leadership, are at the heart of the increased demand for nurses with bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
Success at NMC
Our growth at Nebraska Methodist College has reflected the increased demand for nurses, as well as the demand for nurses with advanced degrees. In the last five years, we’ve seen a 52 percent increase in our student population, which is now near 1,000 students, and growth coming in a number of areas. More importantly, our students are finding jobs soon after they graduate. At NMC, 98 percent of our students find a job within six months of graduation — a telling statistic about the need for skilled nurses.
Chelsea Smith of Papillion, Neb., is a junior at Nebraska Methodist College pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). Chelsea took a few moments this week to share about her experience at NMC, her passion for helping others and her advice for prospective students.
What do you want to do with your degree and why did you choose that career path?
I am not exactly sure which field of nursing I want to get into, but that is the beauty of this career path. Nursing provides endless opportunities that can accommodate each individual’s specific interests. This is one of the many reasons I chose this career.
Another reason is the fact that I've always known that, no matter what major I decided upon, I wanted to be able to help people, and I know now that nursing allows me to do just that.
How did you learn about Nebraska Methodist College, and why did you choose to go to school here?
I learned about Nebraska Methodist College through a college seminar provided by my high school. I had toured other nursing schools and none of them had really made me feel "at home" yet.
When I arrived at NMC for my campus tour, I instantly felt like I belonged because of the energetic and helpful staff. I was also impressed by the modern design of the college — everything looked new and updated compared to the other colleges I had visited. After receiving my tour and packets full of helpful information on how to apply and where to start, there was no doubt in my mind that Nebraska Methodist College was right for me.
What makes NMC unique, and what would you recommend about NMC to others?
NMC is unique in several ways. It is a rather small school, now educating around 1,000 students. This small community gives the college a sense of belonging and family. All the staff members know who you are and are all there to help you succeed. At NMC you are a name, not a number. Due to the small classroom size it makes for an easy transition from high school, and really allows for the students to get to know their instructors. In clinical, the student to teacher ratio is eight to one, which really forms a close group and enables students to participate in a variety of hands on experiences.
Another great aspect of NMC is the student involvement. As the student body, we are the ones who get to make the changes around our school. We all have a voice when it comes to changing our school for the better. This allows students to be creative and see their ideas become a reality.
I would recommend this school to any student wanting to become part of the healthcare world. Everyone who attends NMC is studying to become a part of healthcare as well, so it is really great to be surrounded by people who understand the hard work you are doing and what you are trying to become.
What advice do you have to offer prospective students about college?
My biggest advice to prospective students is to plan ahead. It is so important to prepare yourself for the next chapter of your life. Filling out applications and scholarships as early as possible will help lessen your anxiety and make your transition into college a way smoother process.
Prospective students should also never fear to ask questions or ask for help, because planning their future and the classes they are going to take can sometimes be confusing. Embracing new experiences is also a great piece of advice. College is full of new and exciting opportunities, and the more you learn to participate and enjoy them, the better your experience will be.
Nebraska Methodist College graduates enter the workforce full of knowledge, compassion and prepared to make a difference. We've always known that but we continue to receive reminders of just how great they are. See what some of them have been up to...
Danielle was recognized as the 2012 Respiratory Therapist of the Year from Children's Hospital and Medical Center. She was awarded the honor because she is hard-working, and compassionate, providing excellent care for her patients and their families. Danielle graduated from the NMC Respiratory Care program in 2010 and currently works as a respiratory therapist at Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, NE. This was the second year an NMC graduate received this honor as Kahli Ladd (Class of 2009) was honored as the 2011 Respiratory Therapist of the Year.
Melanie, a sonographer in the Ultrasound Department at Methodist Hospital, was recognized as the November Methodist Hospital Employee of the Month. She is described as a being knowledgeable, helpful, caring and respectful in all she does. Melanie graduated from the NMC Sonography program in 2000 and has been an employee at Methodist Health System for more than 11 years.
Katie received the Rising Star Award at the 2012 March of Dimes Excellence in Nursing banquet. She was one of a few nurses across all specialties recognized for her tireless work to provide care, comfort and support to patients in our community. Katie graduated with her BSN in 2007 and was nominated by Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, NE but now serves as a full time instructor at Nebraska Methodist College.
Lori was awarded the Shining Star Award from Bergen Mercy Medical Center in November 2012. The Shining Star Award recognizes an employee quarterly for the exemplary performance and compassion toward patients. Lori graduated with her BSN in December 2010 and is a postpartum nurse at Bergen Mercy Medical Center in Omaha, NE.
If you or know of an alum that has recently received an award or is doing great things in the community, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service-learning is a valuable and rewarding part of the education that students receive at Nebraska Methodist College. Simply put, service-learning is learning while serving your community. It’s about helping others in need while gaining important experience for a future job or career.
That’s exactly the idea behind NMC’s service-learning opportunities. NMC offers several service-learning opportunities through outreach to local immigrant and refugee populations, regional Native American tribes, and area elderly. NMC also partners with several community organizations, which are hubs of service-learning opportunities for students.
Last week, we took a look at the experiences of a group of students who traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation for NMC’s Rosebud Service Immersion. The trip, one of multiple service immersions throughout the year, is a prime example of service-learning.
Students worked in several settings where their career could potentially take them, including hospital and outpatient settings, ambulance calls, a local women’s shelter, and an alcohol and substance abuse recovery ranch for youth. While gaining that valuable experience, they offered their skills to people in need. The trip also gives students a chance to broaden their horizons by working with people from another culture and different economic background.
Another excellent example of service-learning takes place in NMC’s accelerated nursing program. Students provide health education and screenings to Omaha-area immigrants and refugees at the Mexican Consulate, the Somali Bantu Center, the International Center of the Heartland and for World Refugee Day. Just like students who attend the Rosebud Service Immersion, the accelerated nursing students get a chance to practice their skills while learning about people from other cultures.
Among other service-learning partnerships, NMC’s community partnerships with Cosmopolitan International and Omaha Housing Authority stand out. NMC partners with Cosmopolitan International for the Mobile Diabetes Center. Through the Mobile Diabetes Center, NMC students provide diabetes screenings and education in a wide variety of community settings. Through NMC’s partnership with the Omaha Housing Authority, students provide health screening and education for older adults in public housing.
Service-learning is a win-win in providing help to those in the community who are in need, while building skills and experience in the healthcare professionals of tomorrow.
For more information about NMC’s service-learning opportunities, visit our Community-Based Learning page.
|Nursing student, Jori Reeves, and her paramedic partner/driver on the Rosebud Reservation during the fall fall break immersion.
Sometimes, a job is just a job. It pays the bills, puts food on the table and keeps the lights on. But sometimes, a job is more than that. It’s a career, a passion, an opportunity to make a positive difference for others and in the world around you.
At Nebraska Methodist College, students have a lot of opportunities to get their feet wet in the different roles they might have in their chosen career path. But they also have opportunities to experience the positive impact they can have in the lives of others using their skills.
A big example of these opportunities is NMC’s Service Immersions, which are offered during the fall winter, spring and summer breaks. Recently, a group of NMC students participated in the Rosebud Service Immersion during fall break. From Oct. 7 to 12, the group traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation, located in South Dakota just north of Valentine, Neb.
During the trip, NMC students got a first-hand look at many of the public health-related challenges that exist on the Rosebud Reservation, while also having an opportunity to make a difference. Students worked with Indian Health Services as well as several community agencies, such as a local women’s shelter and an alcohol and substance abuse recovery ranch for youth. Students had the opportunity to work in actual hospital settings or with a community nurse who served local schools and did home visits. Several students also had the opportunity to help on ambulance calls.
"It re-lit a spark in me..."
For some students, the trip was a revealing experience about the health issues that exist on the reservation, including those related to drug and alcohol abuse. For others, the trip was inspiring and reaffirming that through their chosen career path they could have positive and meaningful impacts on the lives of others.
Here’s what a few students said about the trip:
“Personally, this experience has been a real eye-opener and wake up call to a lot of the issues facing Native Americans. It has made me really want to reach out and help these people in order to help them to get ahead in life and help with the healing process.”
“This trip has affected me in a way that is even hard to put into words. It has re-lit a spark in me that has been out for a while now. Coming on this trip, I wasn’t sure I was going to be continuing nursing in the spring. However, this opportunity has once again reminded me how much I want to care for and help others.”
“I learned that I have a really deep desire to reach out and serve individuals that are in the greatest need.”
The Service Immersions are part of NMC’s mission to transform students into educated citizens and to give them a greater holistic perspective of not only the world around them, but their relation to it and the impact they can have on it.
We're Not Done Yet
More Service Immersions are planned for this school year. In January, a group of NMC students will travel to the border town of Laredo, Texas, focusing on diabetes prevention and health issues related to immigration. Students will work with Habitat for Humanity and the Sisters of Mercy.
In March, another group will travel to Nashville, Tenn., where they will be working with the Nashville Mobile Market and the Martha O’Bryan Center educating individuals on healthy food choices and how nutrition affects health.
For more information about NMC’s Service Immersion offerings, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page. If you have participated in a Service Immersion at NMC, please tell us about your experience in the comments below.
With elections less than a month away, healthcare reform continues to be a hot topic. With Democrats working to uphold the current Affordable Care Act and Republicans working towards repealing and replacing reforms, one thing is for certain — healthcare reform will continue to be on the agenda in one form or another regardless of who sits in the White House after Election Day.
The basic goals of healthcare reform are clear: cut costs while improving the quality of care. One fact that’s not debatable is that the current costs and projected cost of healthcare in the U.S. aren’t sustainable.
But what does healthcare reform mean for nurses, who play such a huge role in the patient care process? The answer: nurses will be key leaders in the implementation of healthcare reform, and the demand for their positions will grow, as will the responsibilities of their position.
Nurses will have a large influence on how healthcare reform is actually implemented in everyday patient care. The overall objective of healthcare reform is for hospitals and other providers to provide the highest quality care using best practices and in the most cost effective manner possible. According to Nebraska Methodist College President Dr. Dennis Joslin, that’s where nurses will need to take the lead.
“Nurses will be in the best position to influence the adoption of best practices,” Joslin said. “Nurses will also be in a prime position to implement strategies that will result in decreasing a patient’s length of stay — a critical financial component for providers.”
Wanted: Advanced Degrees
Healthcare reform will ask nurses to improve on their current roles, such as taking measures to improve patients’ overall experience as well as safety. But it will also place new responsibilities on nurses as well. Healthcare reform will shift providers’ focus from only treating patients when they are sick to promoting overall health and wellness.
The focus emphasizes education for patients about health and wellness, so they are healthier and less likely to need hospitalization, and when they do, their stay is as short as possible. The shift will place nurses in a lead role in educating patients about healthier lifestyles and how to effectively manage chronic illness outside of hospital settings.
Healthcare reform also means an increased demand for highly-skilled nurses. The increased roles and responsibilities of the nursing position will create a greater demand for well-educated nurses, especially those prepared for advanced practice with master’s or doctorate degrees.
Nursing Degrees Online
Perfect for working nurses looking to advance their career, Nebraska Methodist College's online nursing programs provide the best of both worlds: a premier NMC education that employers respect, and the convenience of having it online with a schedule that's convenient. Most programs can be completed in as little as two years. Programs in:
Learn more by requesting a free career strategies e-guide.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you were training to be a pilot, you’d probably want your first take-off to happen in a high-tech flight simulator. In the same way, if you were working to become a firefighter, you would want your first encounter with putting out a fire to be a drill under controlled conditions.
The same is true for being a nurse, and that’s the idea behind Nebraska Methodist College’s Nursing Arts Center. The Nursing Arts Center is set up to simulate hospital, nursing home and clinical settings that nurses may encounter in their careers.
At the heart of the Nursing Arts Center is the Watson family, a set of six high fidelity manikins that simulate a number of scenarios nurses will encounter in the field. The Watson family is named after Jean Watson, an internationally-recognized nurse theorist and nursing professor whose Theory of Human Caring is at the foundation of NMC’s BSN program.
Meet the Family
At first glance, it’s easy for students to see the Watson family isn’t what you might picture when you hear the word “manikin.” They blink and “breathe,” and they can even talk — some in both English and Spanish. But their functions go far beyond that.
Being so lifelike, each member of the Watson family also has a name: Noel, Suzie, Gregg, Hal, Hal Jr. (pictured, right) and Baby Hal. Noel is a birth-simulating manikin, and she can simulate a number of childbirth complications. Baby Hal, the baby she births, can simulate several different types of cries, seizures, color change, dilated pupils, and heart, lung and bowel sounds.
Suzie helps students learn how to check a patient’s blood sugar and how to administer IV fluids, feeding tubes, catheters or assisted breathing. NMC students also use Suzie to learn how to look for breast cancer as well as treat complications due to sexually transmitted diseases. Hal and Gregg are male manikins that simulate many of the functions and scenarios already mentioned, while Hal Jr. simulates a patient who is a younger child. Hal also has drug recognition ability to tell if a student has mixed and administered medicine correctly. The manikins also can simulate CPR as well as defibrillation.
The Watson family and the Nursing Art Center’s simulation rooms provide valuable real world experience. So much so that later this year, doctors and nurses from Methodist Women’s Hospital will be using the simulation rooms to practice birthing scenarios involving the many complications they might encounter during a birth. That says a lot about the level of learning NMC nursing students have access to at the Nursing Arts Center.
Take the Tour
Meet the Watson Family for yourself during one of NMC's Visit Days:
Being a skilled nurse requires more than meets the eye. Nurses are caregivers helping others in their healing processes, and providing that care for another person goes deeper than the many technical skills listed in the job description.
Simply put, Nebraska Methodist College believes it is not enough to provide care for a person without truly caring about the person, and this is where Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring enters in.
Jean Watson is an internationally-recognized nurse theorist and nursing professor. Her Theory of Human Caring is at the foundation of NMC’s BSN program. Freshman nursing students at NMC are introduced to Watson’s theories and teachings in their very first course. From that point on, Watson’s theories are intertwined in each nursing student’s education.
Learn by Doing
Through Watson’s theory, students are taught to care for patients’ all-around wellbeing — their physical health, but also their emotional and spiritual state. According to Nursing Professor Echo Perlman, Watson’s lessons of holistic care are a very important part of what professors teach at NMC’s Nursing Arts Center.
“We do activities within the Nursing Arts Center that aren’t just skills,” Perlman says. “We’ll do activities that teach students how to practice the loving kindness that Watson talks about.”
In NMC’s Nursing Arts Center, students practice their skills on a wide array of life-sized anatomical human models or manikins, appropriately named “The Watson Family.” The students practice interacting with the manikins as if they were caring for real people. Students learn how to comfort their patients by holding their hands or making sure they are covered up. This might seem simple enough, but to a patient it creates a healing environment, which is a crucial part of Watson’s theory. A healing environment is a caring atmosphere that allows a patient to recover and develop to his or her full potential.
Perlman says students are also taught the importance of caring for themselves. In settings such as hospice for instance, nurses deal with death, dying, and grief. According to Watson’s theory, it’s also important for caregivers themselves to recover and heal before taking on the responsibility of caring for others in order to create the best healing environment possible for their patients.
10 Caritas Processes of Watson's Human Theory of Caring:
- Sustaining humanistic-altruistic values by practicing loving-kindness with self and others.
- Being authentically present, enabling faith and hope and honoring others.
- Being sensitive to self and others by cultivating own spiritual practices, beyond ego self to transpersonal self.
- Developing and sustaining loving, trusting-caring relationships.
- Allowing for expression of positive and negative feelings — authentically listening to another person's story.
- Creatively problem-solving through caritas process — full use of self and artistry of caring-healing practices via use of all ways of knowing/being/doing/becoming.
- Engaging in transpersonal teaching and learning within context of caring relationship.
- Creating a healing environment at all levels; subtle environment for energetic authentic caring presence.
- Reverentially assisting with basic needs as sacred acts, touching mind/body/spirit of other; sustaining human dignity.
- Opening to spiritual, mystery, unknowns- allowing for miracles.
For more information about Jean Watson, visit www.watsoncaringscience.org.