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Nebraska Methodist College is Thankful


With Thanksgiving coming up in a few days, we thought that we would take a break and tell you about all the things we are thankful for. We hope that you are able to spend time with friends and family this week and give thanks to the many blessings in your life.


Cathy Barnes

Cathy Barnes
Assistant Professor, Nursing

I am thankful for times when I get to witness the genuine kind and compassionate care that often occurs in clinical situations.  This last week I witnessed student nurses sitting and holding the hands of a dying woman, combing hair while gently speaking to a frail elderly woman, and laughing and reminiscing about life with another patient.  These real moments of shared life make me thankful for each precious person that I am blessed to encounter.  These are moments that remind me to be thankful.


Drew Christensen
Outreach Coordinator 

I am thankful for my team- staff, teachers, volunteers- who truly take pride in working with our students. I’m fortunate to work in an environment where it does not feel like work, rather a place where people come together to inspire and make a difference one day at a time.

Kathleen Franco

Kathleen Franco
Student, Radiologic Technology

I am thankful for my education because it has opened up so many doors in my life - ranging from engaging conversations with others, job opportunities, and having the self-confidence to approach any challenge.I am thankful for my family, who is the best support system anyone could ever hope for.I am thankful for my fireplace - keeps my toes nice and toasty through the winter!


Lisa Fuchs
Director of Clinical Education, Respiratory Care

I recently attended a conference at the conference a speaker quoted the following; "if you want to predict the future you have to invent it." I have the job of not only preparing the future RT students, but the opportunity to mold and teach future students. For that I'm truly grateful and humbly honored. The students are now prepared to change the future  and jump into the ever-changing healthcare world with both feet.


Daniel Johnston
NMC Chaplain

I think it begins with the attitude of gratefulness my parents lived with, while having a large family. And very little of everything else. I have also been shaped by my Christian faith which challenges me to, ‘…give thanks in all circumstances’. (I Thes. 5:18NIV) Not necessarily for all circumstances, but when one looks for a reason to be thankful, it grows in you. Finally, I am thankful every day for working in a place and in a profession that focuses on helping others and helping students become better caregivers for folks in their time of need.


Kristin Mattson
Director, Center for Health Partnerships

I am inspired by the work that our community partners are doing to improve the health and well-being of their communities. Last Saturday, I had the privilege of having lunch with a group of promatoras who are partaking in a voluntary training program to be health promoters in their own communities. Their passion for their work and the impact they are already having on community health are truly inspiring. Tomorrow I have the opportunity to work with 20 girls from Girls Inc. who are learning to be health ambassadors in their own schools…another example of the ways communities are taking ownership of their own health. I am grateful to have the opportunity in my job to work with and learn from such dedicated people.


Mario Palomino
Student, Physical Therapist Assistant

I'm thankful for my amazing PTA classmates and faculty. Over the past two years, we have become a family with both ups and downs, but a "family" nonetheless...One that I am proud to be a part of and will never forget.


Marlin Schaich
Associate Professor, Arts & Sciences

I’m certainly thankful for all the goodness I see when I look at NMC: the accomplishments and service of our students, the commitment and innovation of our faculty, and the foresight and integrity of our Administration. I do have to admit that I’m not always thankful, and in fact complain, when I focus on realities in our world such as injustice, selfishness, greed, and judgment. The deeper reality, of course, is that I myself too often give reason for others to complain instead of be thankful. So I’m especially grateful for people putting up with me, and for the realities of forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance, and healing.


Matt Stockfeld
Director, Educational Technology

I am thankful for being thankful. When you think you have nothing to be thankful for, you aren’t giving the process enough attention. The greatest inspiration and compassion comes from a place of gratitude. I am also thankful for the Red Bandit. I have a cardinal that decided to make his home in my bushes. He loves to attack my red truck, peck at himself in the side mirrors, fly into our windows, and poop everywhere. I must accept there are some things I cannot control. I was told I cannot harm him, so I have had to accept the reality that he and his family will leave when he is ready. Until then, I have found a way to enjoy the cardinal sounds and especially appreciate hearing and seeing them in the Winter months.

Shannon Struby

Shannon Struby
Program Director, Physical Therapist Assitant

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with students who strive to do their best and be the best health practioners they can upon graduation. My students are very passionate about our profession, they are ethical, empathetic, and want to always do what it best for thier patient. I am also thankful for a work environment that allows me to teach in a way that I feel is appropriate for my profession, and faculty and staff that support me.


We hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!


Rural Areas Need DNP-Prepared Nurses to Lead Care


nurse practitioner programThis week is National Nurse Practitioner Week so we thought we would take a look at the need for the family nurse practitioner, especially in rural areas. In our own state of Nebraska, rural areas illustrate several concerning healthcare trends found in similar communities throughout the nation.

Recent studies indicate that the number of physicians and nurses in Nebraska’s rural areas is shrinking and aging. In fact, according to a 2012 survey conducted by the Nebraska Center for Nursing, 17 rural Nebraska counties have no physicians and nine have no registered nurses.

Another study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health found that physicians are unlikely to relocate from cities to rural areas, and current family physicians were concerned about future availability of care after they retired. The study also found a disproportionate demand in rural areas — half of all family medicine practices that are recruiting in the state are in rural areas.

These trends are unlocking opportunities for family nurse practitioners with Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees to fill gaps in care and take on leadership roles in rural areas. In underserved areas, DNP-prepared advanced practice nurses can provide crucial primary care services that otherwise would not be accessible.

“In Nebraska, DNP-prepared advanced practice nurses can practice in underserved areas in collaboration with a physician, but the physician does not need to be physically present,” says Dr. Lin Hughes, Dean of Nursing at Nebraska Methodist College.

“Advanced practice nurses can work together with a physician through communication via phone or internet. In many other states, where demand is critical, advanced practice nurses can practice more independently.”

Meeting the Demand

dnp degreeIn response to these growing demands, Nebraska Methodist College recently announced it will offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice with an emphasis in family nurse practice beginning in the fall 2014 semester. The degree prepares nurses to specialize in managing acute and chronic illnesses for patients of all ages in a non-hospital setting.

Nebraska Methodist College’s DNP program is making the education available where it is needed most. The program’s online format was developed to be accessible to nurses nationwide who live in underserved areas. The program blends online learning with clinical interaction.


NEW Doctor ofNursing Practice DegreeLearn More \u0026gt\u003B\u0026gt\u003B

NMC Nursing Student Organizes Event to Honor Fellow Veterans


SGT alkireChristina Alkire isn't your average nursing student at Nebraska Methodist College. Yes, she worries about upcoming tests, studies nonstop and tries to balance school time with family time, like the rest of her classmates.

But Christina -- ahem --  Sgt. Alkire is a proud service member of the United States Army. She served 13 months in Iraq from December 2007 to January 2009 as a member of the military police, providing medical support to detainees.

The experience she gained is one that can't be replicated in the classrooms or labs of nursing school. "Other than one doctor, I was the only other medical professional for more than 500 detainees. I also provided support during detainee transfers on convoys and military flights," said Christina.

alkire familyAlways A Soldier

While Christina originally joined the Army nearly nine years ago as way to pay for college, it has developed in to something more. "As a soldier you are broken down as an individual and then rebuilt to think as a team," said Christina.

"I have to have confidence in those around me as well as the ability to literally risk my own life for my battle buddy. As a soldier, you truly learn to live the Army values in all aspects of your life and even if not in a uniform. You are a soldier, always."

Taking those Army values into the classroom has helped Christina become a leader in the classroom and on campus. From helping a peer in class during a skills lab, her leadership role in student government, to her empathy with patients, she is establishing herself as the definition of an educated citizen.

"After my deployment to Iraq, one of the biggest things I learned was humility. Not everyone asks for the circumstances they are given. This is the same view I give my patients. It is learning to play the cards one was dealt."


Honoring Our Veterans and Active Duty Military

what is a veteranAs Veteran's Day approaches, Nebraska Methodist College Student Government is organizing a flag folding ceremony to honor veterans at the College. "This will be a great visual to show faculty, staff and the student body that there is a large military presence on campus," said Alkire.

"I love the idea of being able to display the folded flag in the lobby as a reminder to our campus community that many walking amongst us have risked their lives or have loved ones that have served or currently serving our country."

Flag Folding Ceremony

Veterans and current military members  were honored at Nebraska Methodist College. Members of the local VFW posts lowered the flag, removed it from the pole and presented the flag to NMC President & CEO Dennis Joslin to be displayed in the lobby of the Clark Center.

See video highlights: 


Note: Christina Alkire is a current student in the BSN program at Nebraska Methodist College and a combat medic in the Army Reserves. She is pictured with her husband, Jonathan Marr and daughter Charlotte Marr. Her husband is also in the Army, stationed in Ft. Sill, Okla.

A Thank You From Helen Zelfel


helenLast week, we posted on Facebook announcing that Helen Zelfel will be retiring after 30 years of unprecedented service to Nebraska Methodist College. We all know how wonderful Helen is but we were blown away by how many of you commented and "liked" the post wishing Helen happiness in her retirement.

As you know, Helen has been the face of NMC for many years and has taken the concept of customer service to an exceptional level.  Over her 30 year tenure, Helen has assumed many roles from Housemother, Receptionist, Secretary in Childbirth Education and has worked in the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid and our Front Desk to name just a few. 

Throughout all of her 30 years and numerous positions her driving passion was to make sure that she knew all of the students and that each guest who entered the doors of NMC felt welcome.  Helen never missed an opportunity to make a great first impression with someone new to NMC. 

Helen’s last day with NMC will be Friday, November 22, 2013 so if you have a chance, stop by the front desk to wish her well in her retirement.

Because Helen is not on Facebook or Twitter (maybe something she can take up in retirement?), we sat down and showed her all of the kind things you all were saying after her retirement announcement. So she has taken the time to write a thank you in a way that only Helen can. Enjoy...

From Helen Zelfel:

Wow…..I truly have been touched by the many messages sent in response to my retirement from NMC via face book.  As November 22nd approaches I am feeling sad at the thought of not seeing the many students, faculty and staff who pass this desk.  I have been amazingly touched by the number of people who have blessed my life in the past 30 years.

I’ve heard (and even said) “It’s your family who will remember you, not the people at your work”.  After pondering this statement, I will  beg to differ (even with myself). 

I can go back 30 years and still remember:

  • Louise James (now retired, former supervisor of housekeeping),  Lynn (now retired, the lady who started up the bookstore)

  • Dr. Roger Koehler (now deceased, former NMC President….walked by the desk with a twinkle in his eyes and would say “Have a nice day” on a daily basis)

  • Jean Beyer (now deceased, but such an instrumental person in making NMC so people friendly and oh boy was she ever phenomenal with the programs she shared with so many people)

  • Susan (Bauer’s) Joslin (now at College of St. Mary’s, she was instrumental in helping a former student deal with her blindness and yes helping so many other students)

  • Cheri Micek (now retired, we worked the front desk together….now we will be visiting via telephone often)

  • Mark  (former student, who came for the kitchen key everyday so he could bake his Totino’s pizza)

  • Ryan and Beth Barr (former students who are now married…they knew each other before NMC)

  • Tim and Amber (former students, met at NMC and now married…I loved the story of that proposal)

  • Doug Warren (former student, loved our mini chats over his cup of coffee and my cup of cappuccino)

  • Mary Davis (former student who only had two semesters before graduation and lost her vision. She is a true inspiration to me to this very day.  Mary, “I LOVE You!”).

I could go on and on and on and on ….my point being people (students, faculty, staff, etc.) are remembered and truly bless our lives and make us who we are.  All of the students, staff and faculty here are amazing. 

NMC is “My Best Place To Work”. 

Thanks for the memories!!!

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