describe the image

Subscribe to Blog

Your email:

Follow NMComaha!

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Image is Everything: Sonographers Give Physicians Important Looks Inside the Body


Sonography Explained

Rebecca Matthiasen at NMCSonography, also known as ultrasonography or ultrasound, is the use of high frequency sound waves to build images of body organs and blood vessels.  The images enable medical doctors and other medical professionals to observe, study and diagnose growth and other changes that may occur within an individual’s body.  A songrapher is a professional highly trained in the use of sonography to construct the images needed.

Sonographers are probably best known for providing those first images many expecting parents see of their unborn babies. But the job of a sonographer doesn’t end there. They play an important role in helping physicians diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions that otherwise cannot be seen.

Sonographers use advanced sound-wave technology to create images of the body’s internal structures or organs. A sonographer’s job is to capture the best two-dimensional images possible of three-dimensional organs to be examined by physicians to assess and diagnose the patient. To do this, they must have a strong understanding of human anatomy and their sonography equipment to acquire useful images that will allow the physician to make the best diagnosis.

Sonography Degree Programs

Insturctor teaching ultrasound to NMC studentsNebraska Methodist College offers two sonography associate degree programs — Cardiovascular Sonography and Multispecialty Sonography. In Cardiovascular Sonography, students learn how to collect and evaluate images of the heart, the heart valves and related blood vessels throughout the body, aiding physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the cardiovascular system. In Multispecialty Sonography, students learn how to examine the fetus of a pregnant woman to follow the baby's growth and development, as well as how to create images of a wide variety of organs for diagnosis and treatment, including the aorta, gallbladder, bile ducts, kidneys, liver, pancreas and spleen, among others.

Sonography Career

A career in sonography is rewarding for a number of reasons. Sonographers are the eyes and ears of physicians in diagnosing and treating internal conditions, and as a result, are held in high regard by physicians. Sonographers experience fulfilling patient interaction. The job is also a continuous learning experience, which provides a sense of accomplishment as individuals tackle new challenges daily.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for sonographers in the U.S. is $64,380 annually, with a forecast of faster than average job growth until 2020. Demand for sonographers is high for those willing to travel to other areas. While some regions of the country are saturated with sonographers, others are underserved. Students interested in sonography should consider their willingness to relocate to find a job.

Nebraska Methodist College’s iPad Curriculum

Nebraska Methodist College’s sonography programs utilize an iPad curriculum to prepare students for the field. All coursework, including quizzes, research, clinical documentation and classroom activities, are conducted on iPads. The curriculum includes several apps that help students understand anatomy, create the best two-dimensional images from three-dimensional organs, and draw on and label images.

iPads are an excellent tool for learning, research and administrative tasks, and they are a device that sonographers as well as other healthcare professionals will likely utilize in their daily workplace for organization and continued learning.

The following are example of apps used in NMC’s sonography curriculum:

  • SonoAccess

  • Draw MD

  • Emergency Medicine Ultrasound

  • Echocardiography Atlas

  • IJot

  • Ultrasound Protocols and Image Reference Handbook

  • CARDIO3® Comprehensive Atlas of Echocardiography

For more information on becoming a sonographer, visit Nebraska Methodist College at or contact and admissions representative at 402.354.7200.

Faculty Spotlight: President and CEO Dennis Joslin


Dennis Joslin, PhD, President & CEONebraska Methodist College President and CEO Dennis Joslin recently celebrated his 10th anniversary of leadership at NMC. Joslin has been a part of NMC for a total of 37 years, and he has experienced much change at the college as well as in the healthcare field. Joslin took a moment this week to discuss his passion for healthcare education, his background in nursing and how he likes to spend his time outside the office.

What makes you passionate about Nebraska Methodist College?

Nebraska Methodist College has great people who are committed to making a difference in the lives of our students. We have the opportunity to provide a comprehensive educational experience that results in the transformation of people into well prepared, high quality, healthcare professionals. The culture reflects that NMC is composed of caring and solution-oriented people who are willing to work toward continuous quality improvement in every aspect of our operation.

What is the best part of your job?

The opportunity to interact with outstanding students and great faculty and staff. It is wonderful to be able to facilitate our students’ realization of their dreams to earn their degrees and become the healthcare practitioners they always dreamed of being.  I get to work with incredible faculty and staff who are passionate about their work with students and committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure our students have the best educational experience possible. I am energized when I work with our students and I see and feel the excitement and enthusiasm they bring to campus every day.

What is your background in healthcare, and what was your path to administration at NMC?

I began my career as a registered nurse and practiced in critical care nursing. I had the opportunity to join Methodist School of Nursing as a faculty member with teaching responsibilities in critical care, trauma and neurology. I completed a Master’s of Science Degree in Nursing with emphasis in Education and Curriculum Development. Over the years as a faculty member, I gradually assumed various leadership positions and realized that I enjoyed the administrative aspect of higher education. After a few years in various administrative positions, I decided to earn a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Leadership. Various appointments that I held prior to the presidency include department chair, academic dean, vice president for Academic Affairs and executive vice president.  I am completing my 10th year as president and my 37th year with Nebraska Methodist College.

You studied nursing at a time when men in the field were even fewer than they are today. What advice or encouragement do you have to offer men interested in nursing?

I earned my BSN in the mid-1970s at a time when nursing was not a common major for men.  At that time, nationwide, the percentage of men in nursing was less than 5 percent, and today those numbers are still less than 10 percent — overall, a slight gain, but not much of a change from a total numbers perspective. My advice for men who are considering nursing is to “do it!”  The field of nursing is so flexible and provides both men and women a wide range of opportunities. This is especially true for nurses who are willing to earn advanced degrees and expand their knowledge and expertise in advanced clinical practice, education or administration. Today’s society is much more accepting of men in nursing and many of the stereotypes from the 1960s and 1970s are not as prevalent.

What do you do outside of your job at NMC?

I am fortunate to have four grandsons under the age of four and they all live in Omaha. I love spending time with them and watching them grow, learn and develop. I also enjoy boating, waterskiing and camping. When I have time, I enjoy doing small house remodeling projects and have recently tried my hand at stained glass.

Survey Says Nurses Most Trusted Professionals


Nurses are considered the most trusted of any professionals, according to a recent Gallup survey.

According to the survey released in December 2012, 85 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high.” Nurses out-ranked pharmacists, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, police officers and members of the clergy. Nurses have earned the top spot in the poll every year since its inception in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters ranked first after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

What about nurses makes them so trustworthy? Nursing student working with volunteer patient

According to two Nebraska Methodist College
faculty — Dr. Lin Hughes, dean of nursing, and Dr. Linda Foley, director of graduate students —
building and maintaining trust is an essential part
of the job description of a nurse, as outlined in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of
Ethics. According to the ANA Code of Ethics, it is the nurse’s duty in the community to promote
the health, safety, and welfare of all people while respecting human dignity and practicing with compassion.

“Nurses are the ones at the bedside caring for patients during their most vulnerable period of time,” Hughes said.

A nurse cares for patients in their time of need. The nurse is often the one who initially assesses the patient before collaborating with the primary care professional. The nurse then manages the prescribed care. It’s a nurse’s job to help patients understand the care they receive by explaining information about medications and treatments.

In a hospital setting, a nurse is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven day a week, and is seen as a patient’s advocate to the rest of the healthcare team. As a nurse, the job of caring for a patient goes beyond physical needs. The nurse also cares for a patient’s psychosocial and spiritual needs.

“Nurses need to be highly trustworthy because patients may share their most intimate feelings and thoughts and expect nurses to maintain the privacy of this knowledge,” Foley said.

Behind the Scenes: The Making of NMC's One Billion Rising


Through a recent flash mob video, students, faculty and staff at Nebraska Methodist College teamed up to raise awareness for One Billion Rising, a worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls.

One Billion Rising shines a light on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at seven billion, that adds up to more than one billion women and girls. The movement encourages individuals to strike, dance and rise up in defiance of the injustices women suffer all over the world.

One Billion Rising Event 022013“With the dance focus of One Billion Rising, a flash mob seemed like a great idea to help spread the word of the initiative as well as local events at Nebraska Methodist College, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and First United Methodist Church in Omaha”, said Keri Wayne-Browne, NMC Advisement & Outreach Coordinator. Wayne-Browne coordinated NMC’s One Billion Rising event on Feb. 14. During the initial planning, the idea of using a flash mob to promote the event was explored, and Wayne-Browne contacted Erika Pritchard, Coordinator of Leadership Development at NMC.  Pritchard had coordinated a live flash mob in 2012 for NMC Weeks of Welcome, which was so well received that she wanted to try something similar for 2013. Filming a flash mob that made its way across The Josie Harper Campus added a new dynamic to the idea — the opportunity to tell a story that could be shared with others.

“We wanted to illustrate through dance how one person can have an impact by inspiring others to take action,” Wayne-Browne said. “As you see in the video, one person dancing is ‘contagious,’ and before you know it, the entire campus is rising up and dancing.”

A group of approximately 30 students, faculty, staff and administrators spent many early-morning and late-afternoon hours learning and performing the dances choreographed by Pritchard.  Pritchard also wrote the story board and directed the video which was shot and edited by Steven Hess, Online Education Specialist at NMC. In total, the project took more than 30 hours to complete from start to finish, and the video has had over 3,000 hits on YouTube.

“The best part was filming because I could see what was imagined become reality,” Pritchard said. Wayne-Browne emphasized,“As a healthcare college where 90 percent of our students are women, it is important for us to be involved in this movement. This video sends the message to our students and the community that our college is taking a stand and rising up to end violence against women.”

NMC Mobile Diabetes Center: Vehicle for Health and Learning


Diabetes Education OmahaThe impact of the Mobile Diabetes Center stretches beyond the health benefits it provides to those in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Nebraska Methodist College students use the center as a vehicle to gain experience in the field while working alongside nursing faculty.

The Mobile Diabetes Center is a partnership between the Nebraska Methodist College Center for Health Partnerships and the Cosmopolitan Cornbelt Diabetes Connection. The Mobile Diabetes Center plays an important role in the Nebraska Methodist College Center for Health Partnerships’ work to improve health equity in the community by promoting health awareness and health literacy with a primary focus on disease prevention.

“It’s a great venue for providing screening and education in the community and in a variety of settings, and it’s an excellent opportunity for students to gain professional experience,” said Christine Clancy, assistant professor and Nursing and Mobile Diabetes coordinator.

Here’s how it works:

NMC Nursing faculty and students staff the Mobile Diabetes Center and provide free non-diagnostic diabetes related health screenings. Screenings include blood pressure, blood glucose, height, weight, body mass index and risk screens for undiagnosed pre-diabetes and diabetes. Select locations also provide flu shots, cholesterol checks, hemoglobin A1c tests, foot assessments and nail care.

Students, in return, gain valuable experience in performing these non-diagnostic screenings, learn about glucose regulation in the community and develop their communication and advocacy skills.

The Mobile Diabetes Center aims to reach underserved and underinsured urban and rural communities, but services are not limited to just those populations. Mobile Diabetes Center users not only benefit from the free non-diagnostic diabetes related health screenings, but also from the education provided during the screenings. In some instances, the Mobile Diabetes Center helps facilitate access to health care.

The Mobile Diabetes Center began providing services in January 2011 and continues to grow and serve more communities. This spring, faculty and students from NMC’s sonography programs will offer ankle-brachial index screenings.


NMC Students Experience Life as Promotoras First-Hand


service learning omahaIn 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.

Allied Health Programs Offer Wealth of Career Opportunities


respiratory care program omahaThe 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.

20121107 NMC 029 600x200

Colleges See Increased Enrollments in Advanced Nursing Programs


rn-msn omahaNursing 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.

Methodist Alumna Follows Passion with Therapy Horses


nmc alumniIn 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:

Online MSN Program Allows Student to Pursue Degree While Working


nurse educator degreePursuing 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.”


msn degree online


For more information about NMC’s online nursing and health professinoal degrees, request a free e-guide about the nursing and healthcare professional industry.





All Posts