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.
It’s no surprise the demand for qualified nurses continues to rise. The country’s baby boomer population is aging, while at the same time, a large portion of the nurse workforce is expected to retire this decade.
The Need for Highly Educated Nurses
But there is also another rising demand among the nursing field — the need for nurses with a bachelor of science degree, commonly known as a BSN. As healthcare in the U.S. continues to become more complex and diverse, nurses with BSNs are needed to take on leadership and managerial roles in the field. Nurses need to be capable of assuming more leadership and management roles to prevent disease, promote health, and provide primary care to individuals, communities and other populations.
The RN-to-BSN online program at NMC is the first step for qualified nurses who want to advance their education and be on the forefront of healthcare improvement.
Do I REALLY need an advanced nursing degree?
In short, the answer is yes. According to a recent article from the New York Times, surveys show that most hospitals prefer to hire nurses with bachelor’s degrees. Many hospitals have either made it their policy only to hire nurses with at least a BSN, or to hire nurses with the agreement that they will earn a BSN within a certain amount of time.
Several states are even looking at bills that would require hospitals to have a certain percentage of BSN-educated nurses on staff. As part of this shift, many hospitals are also phasing out licensed practical nurses (LPNs) all together.
According to the Association of Colleges of Nursing, all Magnet hospitals, which are recognized for nursing excellence, have moved to require all nurse managers and nurse leaders to hold a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing by 2013. Applying for Magnet designation must also show what plans are in place to achieve the recommendation of having an 80% baccalaureate prepared RN workforce by 2020.
So, then what's next?
That’s important to know whether you are at the beginning of your nursing career path or already somewhere along the way. If you are exploring a career in nursing, it’s important that you enter the field with the educational preparation and degree that will allow you to be successful in the long run. If you are currently an LPN or a registered nurse (RN) without a BSN, don’t panic. There are plenty of educational options to suit you as you grow in your career.
Nebraska Methodist College offers several BSN programs on campus and online. For RNs looking to improve their skills and qualifications, NMC offers these online programs: RN to BSN; RN to MSN (master of science in nursing), educator; and RN to MSN, executive.
For more information on our programs,
or comment below with any questions about our programs.
Juan Carlos Chavez is a former Nebraska Methodist College Upward Bound student. He graduated from Omaha Burke High School in 2012 and earned a prestigious Gates Millenium Scholarship, a full ride to a college of his choosing. He took a few moments to reflect on his experiences as an Upward Bound student and his road to college.
Upward Bound: My Sanctum for Motivation
|Juan Carlos Chavez, now a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
While I was a part of the Creighton Talent Search Program I’d heard about the Upward Bound Program, and little did I know they had the program at my high school. My brother grabbed a couple applications from a friend who said the program was amazing.
The best part about joining the program was the people I met: the counselors, mentors, and other students like myself. When senior year came around, Upward Bound became my sanctum to concentrate on my academics, scholarships, and most importantly for some motivation to complete it all.
Upward bound helped me complete my FAFSA, which is crucial to the Gates Millennium Scholarship and also helped me send endless documents to the foundation! In addition, they also provided me with a huge list of scholarships that I could work on as well. One of the big factors that helped me was the push of one of the students at the program. He was constantly working hard on his academics, working on scholarships, and also was a part of sports and it motivated me to work as hard or even harder. We became close friends and pushed ourselves to do better. So even the environment of Upward Bound with the people help motivate me to work hard on these scholarships, especially the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Getting the Scholarship
It started off scary, stressful, and so it was so crucial that it worried me. My motivation was that my brother received a scholarship, and he assured me that if he can do it, that I can. I started researching scholarships the summer after my junior year. I had a goal that I wanted to complete 25 scholarship applications by the end of my senior year. Another goal I set was applying to at least 10 schools by the end of my first semester. (I didn’t reach it but trying to helped.)
Chavez submitted this video as part of his application for the Upward Bound/Teen Center scholarship.
My priorities for my senior year were: Scholarships, college apps, schoolwork, family, clubs, friends, food, and lastly, sleep! I must admit, it took a lot of determination, constant self-motivation, and sacrifice. If you would ask my parents they would tell you how they would come home to me sleeping on the floor next to the computer with scholarship essays up on the computer, and it was tough.
There are a lot of mixed emotions that come with the whole process, like throwing your hands up and shouting “I GIVE UP!” but I had to keeping reminding myself what I was working for and no doubt in my mind I know now that it was all worth it.
Welcome to the GMS Family
The day I received the package in the mail, my mom called and told me she wanted to wait for me to get home to open it. My mother, father, brother, and his girlfriend stood around while I opened the letter. I opened the folder, and read the first words on the paper, “Congratulation’s…. Welcome to the GMS Family.”
It’s hard to find words to describe the moment, but after I read those words, a chill feeling ran down my spine, I dropped everything, jumped up, and hugged my mom while tears of joy ran down her cheek. My father, brother, and his girlfriend joined in a group hug. Personally, I felt everything I worked for finally paid off.
The scholarship still means a lot since my parents didn’t have the chance to go to college because of financial obstacles. My brother and I are not only the first generation in our family to go to college, but the first to go with a full ride. This was the life our grandparents set out for us, while risking their lives to come to the promise land. Earning the Gates Millennium Scholarship is not only a relief when fighting financial barriers, but a relief in opening opportunity for my family’s future generation.
Making the Most of College
I am now studying computer science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Its been different moving away from my family and friends and living in a city unknown, but its been new, amazing, and a lot of fun at the same time. I stay extremely busy as I am apart of Residential Housing Association working as the Marketing Chair. I have applied to work as an event technician, graphic designer, and I’m also part of the Tennis club, Breakdancing club, and currently checking out fraternities to be join in the spring.
My future goals now are to network with others, study hard, and eventually I want to start my own business! I hope to start looking into grad school so I have my choices open when comes around time deciding. But as of now I’m just working hard to receive good grades for my first semester, join some service projects, and enjoy my first year as a college student.
The NMC Upward Bound program is funded through a $1.25 million grant from the United States Department of Education. Through tutoring and mentoring, Upward Bound attempts to increase rates at which its participants complete high school, as well as instill the skills and motivation necessary to enroll in, and graduate from, a post-secondary education program.
In today’s economic climate, the cost of education is one of the biggest concerns many students have when choosing a college.
Tuition, books, living expenses — it all adds up, and the final totals can look daunting at first glance. But don’t be discouraged, you can still afford to go to college, and it is worth the investment.
Things to know when financing your education:
Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible
Apply for scholarships from your college but also look at external options (foundations, etc.)
Federal Financial Aid is not automatically renewed. Be sure to reapply every year.
Shop around for private loans – don’t settle for the first one you see. Rates are very competitive.
Use your college’s Financial Aid Office as a resource – they are on your side.
Take advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit – you can receive a tax credit for your money paid toward tuition, fees and books.
Scholarships & Grants
Many scholarship and grant opportunities are out there from the college itself as well as outside sources to help you pay for college. At Nebraska Methodist College, last year alone we awarded $2.5 million in scholarships and grants from institutional, state and federal sources to our student body of approximately 800 students. Visit the Scholarship and Grant pages on our website to learn more about what scholarships and grants you are eligible to apply for.
Student loans are also an important option to consider. Last year, NMC students received more than $4.2 million in financial aid from federal, state and private loans.
Due to America’s growing student loan debt, student loans have gained some negative attention in the media in recent months. But managed responsibly, student loans can be a great resource for investing in your future. When taking out a student loan, it’s important to consider the potential pay and demand for jobs in your chosen career field.
But like we mentioned in our last blog, jobs in healthcare pay well and the demand for them continues to grow. In fact, 98 percent of NMC graduates find a job within six months of graduation in the nursing or allied health field. That’s a reassuring statistic when deciding how to invest in your future.
Always Ask Questions
If you have questions about your options for paying for your education as well as scholarship and grant opportunities, contact our Financial Aid staff. They can help to give you advice and insight to make smart decisions that can take some of the stress out of paying for college.
Choosing to pursue a career can be a daunting task.
Right off the bat, it’s a decision that spurs several questions: Will I be able to find a job in my chosen career? Will my job pay well? Will I like my job?
With these questions in mind, consider a career in healthcare.
Skilled healthcare professionals are in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five new jobs created this year will be in the healthcare industry.
For instance, with the aging baby boomer population, the need for nurses is expected to increase by more than 25 percent in the next decade. Added to that, a large portion of today’s nursing workforce plans to retire in the next 10 years. More than half of nurses surveyed in 2006 said they plan to retire between 2011 and 2020. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing offers more facts and figures about the demand for jobs in healthcare.
What kind of money will I make?
Jobs in healthcare pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the U.S. median salary in 2010 for Registered Nurses was $64,690 per year, with an average projected job growth until 2020 of 26 percent.
Other median annual incomes in healthcare:
Physical Therapist Assistant salary: $49,690
Diagnostic Medical Songorapher salary: $64,380
Radiological Technoligst salary: $54,340
Surgical Technologist salary: $39,920
Respiratory Therapist salary: $54,280
Phlebotomist salary: $30,790
Medical Assistant salary: $28,860
Health Promotion Manager: $45,830
A job in healthcare is also rewarding beyond the paycheck. You provide crucial care that will have a lasting impact on the lives others. You might even have a chance to save someone’s life. Above all, healthcare professionals help people. What’s more rewarding than that?
Where should I get my degree?
Well, here are some facts about us: At Nebraska Methodist College, 98 percent of our graduates find a job within six months of graduation. On top of that, we have a 93 percent freshman retention rate and award $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to students each year from institutional, state and federal sources.
We are a leading nursing and allied health college located in Omaha, Nebraska, offering on campus and online degrees in healthcare.
If you are a prospective student, download a free Career Strategies in Healthcare E-Guide to learn more about the advanatges of a career in the healthcare industry.
Nebraska Methodist College student, Jed Hansen was selected as a winner for the New Careers In Nursing (NCIN) I Believe this About Nursing essay contest for the month of June, 2012.
As a Robert Wood Foundation scholar, Jed submitted an essay that shared his personal story about why he wants to become a nurse, what he has learned, who has inspired him or what he wants to contribute to the profession.
Hansen, 31 years old, previously worked in the financial industry in New York. He graduated with a business degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and immediately began his career in finance but soon felt driven to healthcare. He will graduate from Nebraska Methodist College in the spring with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
An Excerpt from Jed's Essay
"Unlike many nurses and fellow students, when deciding on a career in healthcare I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I took a systematic look at several different career paths and educational routes, making sure I was going to enter into a career that made sense for where I was in my life and where I wanted to go. I was looking for a career that offered personal flexibility and autonomy, a career that allowed me to help others, and a career that offered various professional routes. After diligent research, I found that nursing was the certain path that would offer me all of these career traits."
His winning essay can be viewed on the NCIN website.
View Jed's Comments