In early January, a group of Nebraska Methodist College students traveled to Laredo, Texas, for the Winter Break Service Immersion.
Laredo is located along the United States border with Mexico about 200 miles from the southern tip of Texas. During the week-long immersion, students from NMC worked with Habitat for Humanity building a home in the area and worked alongside community health workers, known in Spanish as promotoras.
Promotoras are community members trained to provide basic health education in the community. Though they are not professional healthcare workers, promotoras play a vital role in educating their Latino communities about health issues and providing guidance in accessing community resources associated with healthcare.
NMC was able to make connections to promotoras in Loredo through a longstanding partnership with the Sisters of Mercy, an international organization that serves people who suffer from poverty, sickness or lack of education. Through the experience, NMC students were exposed to cultural barriers and issues related to immigration. In the process, students learned ways to use community resources for the benefit of their own patients and clients.
The trip was also a chance for NMC’s Center for Health Partnerships to further develop its own community health worker program in Omaha called Our Families’ Health. Members of Our Families’ Health also participated in the immersion. Working alongside the promotoras allowed them an opportunity to discuss and observe best practices that they could bring with them back to Omaha.
More to Come
Another service immersion is scheduled for March to Nashville, Tenn. During that trip, students will work with the Nashville Mobile Market and the Martha O’Bryan Center educating individuals about healthy food choices and how nutrition affects health.
Contact Volunteer Opportunities for more information about NMC’s Service Immersion offerings.
The need for skilled healthcare professionals isn’t limited just to the field of nursing. For that very reason, Nebraska Methodist College isn’t just a nursing college.
NMC offers an array of Allied Health programs that are perfect for those who have the drive and passion to work in healthcare and are ready to dive right into a career. Most programs are two-year associate degree programs with options to go on for a bachelor’s degree. NMC also offers certificate programs that range from nine weeks to 12 months.
“Allied Health programs are for students that have a desire to work with and help people who are sick or in pain,” said Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Dean of Health Professions. “A compassionate and caring attitude is critical.”
NMC’s Allied Health programs offer a variety of career paths, whether that is working with technology in radiology and sonography (cardiovascular or multispecialty), helping patients recover from injury as a physical therapist assistant or handing instruments while working side by side with surgeons during surgery as a surgical technologist.
Careers in Allied Health are also in demand. Respiratory care, for example, was recently named as one of the top 25 jobs in 2013 by U.S. News and World Report, while others, including medical assistants, have strong outlooks.
In each Allied Health program, NMC students receive valuable clinical experience throughout their coursework. Students learn in the classroom, practice in the lab and then reinforce their skills in the clinical setting in the same semester. This allows students to build real-life skills by practicing real patient care.
Students enrolled in an Allied Health program also are trained in cutting edge technology and software. Many of NMC’s Allied Health programs will become iPad-based in the 2013-2014 school year.
For more information about NMC’s Allied Health programs, contact our Admissions staff.
Nursing colleges across the country are seeing an increase in students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing, according to a study released last month by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and Nebraska Methodist College is no exception.
The study, which surveyed nursing schools across the nation, found a 3.5 percent increase from 2011 to 2012 in entry-level bachelor’s programs, an 8.2 percent jump in master’s programs, and a nearly 20 percent surge in enrollments in doctorate programs in nursing.
Nebraska Methodist College was featured in a story on local ABC affiliate KETV Channel 7 in a story about this very trend. In the past five years, NMC has seen a 29 percent growth in enrollment in its Bachelor’s in Nursing Science programs and its enrollment nearly triple in graduate nursing programs. The college’s overall enrollment has grown by 52 percent in the past five years. NMC is also in the accreditation process for a new doctorate in nursing program, reflecting the increased demand for highly-educated nurses.
More importantly for students seeking jobs, the AACN study also indicated a hiring preference for nursing graduates with bachelor’s degrees and above. Nationally, 88 percent of bachelor’s-level nursing graduates and 92 percent of master’s-level nursing graduates found employment within four to six months of graduation in 2012. Overall, NMC has a 98 percent job placement rate, which includes nursing and a number of other healthcare professions degrees.
The survey also asked schools of nursing if employers in their area were requiring or strongly preferring new hires with bachelor’s degrees. The findings showed that 39.1 percent of employers require new hires to have a BSN while 77.4% strongly prefer BSN-prepared nurses.
That data is also good news for patients as research shows that nurses with baccalaureate level preparation are linked to better patient outcomes.
For more information about the nursing programs NMC offers, visit our Nursing and Nursing Online pages.
In 2006, NMC alumna Deb Schultz saw a story on television about a miniature horse and her curiosity was peaked. She began researching the breed and has never looked back. Deb and her husband Ron now have a full fledged "mini-farm," the Dry Creek Mini Farm.
"There's a saying that minis are like Pringles potato chips, you can't have just one," said Deb. "Well, it was worse for us, we kept finding more that we liked and now we have almost 30 miniature horses."
The couple breeds and raises miniature horses, miniature donkeys, miniature mules, llamas, dogs and cats at their farm in Rock Port, MO.
Following a Passion
Because Deb has a nursing background, her dream has always been to start a miniature horse therapy program. The tiny therapy horses work inside hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers, children's rehab centers and to other shut-ins.
"Someday, I hope to be able to retire from nursing and just work with the horses, training them to brighten other peoples lives like they have for us. I guess I would still be nursing, in a sense, just not of the physical body but more of the emotional and spiritual body."
It is widely stated that these miniature ponies have an ability to create an emotional connection with people they meet. They can bring a smile to an elderly person's face or fill an autistic child's mind with magic.
The horses can also provide a needed distraction to people grieving or who have just been through a tragic event, as seen in Newtown, CT. The Florida based non-profit, Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, sent a trio of horses to visit with the children of Sandy Hook Elementary and help begin the healing process.
Although still working as a nurse, Deb and her husband have started their therapy program: Dry Creek's Smidgeon of Sunshine Therapy. They have two tiny trotters, named Midgie and JR, who will be on the road in 2013 making lives brighter and providing comfort to those who need it most.
Deb graduated from the Methodist College of Nursing's Registered Nurse diploma program in 1981. She is currently a Med/Surg Nurse at the Nemaha County Hospital, a critical access rural hospital located in Auburn, NE.
You can read more about her farm at: www.drycreekminifarm06.com.
Pursuing an advanced degree in nursing while working full time can seem like a daunting challenge. But through Nebraska Methodist College’s online degree programs, continuing your education while continuing your career is a realistic opportunity.
NMC student Maria Medina is a great example of a working student. Maria, who currently resides in Alamosa, Colo., is expected to graduate in spring 2013 with a Master of Science in Nursing as an Educator.
Maria knows a thing or two about balancing a busy schedule. She currently works full time teaching at a local community college, and part time as a nurse at a local hospital.
Here is what Maria has to say about her experience with NMC’s online master’s degree program:
How has your experience been so far as an online NMC student?
“Becoming an online student was initially very scary. This was my first experience with online classes, but the faculty and online support professionals have been patient and understanding.
“My experience has been wonderfully challenging. I am constantly learning about teamwork and patience with the multimedia power of the Internet, and about my personal limitations and strengths. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to continue my education.”
Why did you choose NMC?
“I researched quite a bit before choosing Nebraska Methodist College’s MSN program. I was drawn to the program after reviewing the curriculum and looking at the student support services offered.”
What do you plan to do with your degree?
“I will continue at the community college as faculty for the next ten to 20 years and hope to do some online teaching.”
For more information about NMC’s online nursing and health professinoal degrees, request a free e-guide about the nursing and healthcare professional industry.
It takes a team effort from professionals across the healthcare system to control costs and maintain quality, but the challenge of leading that effort rests squarely on the shoulders of healthcare administrators.
In early 2013, Nebraska Methodist College will offer a new online program — Master of Science in Healthcare Operations Management — to build skilled healthcare administrators ready to meet that challenge. NMC is currently enrolling students for the new program, which begins in March 2013.
Job prospects for highly-skilled healthcare administrators will continue to grow over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, at the same time, so will the obstacles healthcare administrators have to face — a greater demand for services from aging baby boomers, shortages of both doctors and nurses, and the dramatic reform of the Affordable Care Act.
Taught by industry leaders, NMC’s new Healthcare Operations Management program will equip students with skills in planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services. Students will be trained how to effectively manage the integration of people, processes, and systems in any healthcare environment. They will also learn important problem-solving skills that will allow them to improve their organizations by uncovering problems and finding and implementing solutions.
Coursework for the program will focus on the following key themes: Leadership and Management, Healthcare Operations, Innovation, Healthcare Analytics, Financial Management, Health Informatics, Systems Thinking and Risk Intelligence, Effective Communication, and Human Resource Management.
The new online program is extremely flexible. Courses will be offered in one-credit, four-week-long sessions. There will be 11 four-week sessions per year, and a student will have the flexibility to take up to three courses during any four-week session. The format of the program allows students to work at the pace they choose, which could be different throughout a given year. A student could choose to take three courses one month while taking two, one or none the next.
More new courses on the horizon
NMC is planning to offer the following new degree programs in 2013 and 2014:
The Bachelor of Science in Imaging Science will be offered in Fall 2013 and is an extension of NMC’s two-year associate of science degree in Radiologic Technology. The program will allow current NMC Radiologic Technology students to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree and will serve as a degree completion program for students from other accredited two-year Radiologic Technology programs.
In addition, two stand-alone certificate programs will also be offered in Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging for students seeking licensure.
Spanish for the Healthcare Professional will be offered in Fall 2013 as a minor for NMC students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. The program will also be available as a certificate program for graduates. The program develops the student’s conversational and written Spanish, focusing particularly on Spanish application in healthcare.
NMC is currently in the accreditation process for a new Doctorate of Nursing Practice program. This program, which is anticipated to launch in Fall 2014, will focus on developing advanced nurse practitioners, specifically family nurse practitioners. Healthcare has continued to become more complex, placing greater demands on nurses. Based on the current healthcare environment and anticipated future shortages of physicians, there will be an increased need for nurses educated at the doctoral level to serve as practice leaders.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.