Eric Rowe- Staff Writer
“Clinicals…validations…obstetrics.” If you overhear these terms in a conversation, there’s probably a nursing major speaking.
Dordt’s nursing program is the college’s fifth largest major, with around 120 students enrolled. Dordt is able to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing because of its partnership with St. Luke’s College in Sioux City. Students pursuing this degree are required to enroll in St. Luke’s four-semester-long Associates program.
“They teach you one week and test you the next,” said sophomore nursing major Megan Bulthuis.
The lectures at St. Luke’s are paired with clinicals, a hands-on learning experience in which nursing students are assigned to a patient until that patient is discharged. The combination of clinicals paired with challenging classes makes for a rapid learning style, an educational approach that tests all nursing students. In fact, it is not uncommon for a nursing major to retake a certain class, and therefore be set back a semester, due to a below-average grade.
Sophomore Emily Currey describes the program as “fast-paced.”
“They throw you in right away.”
Using patient transfers as an example, Currey said, “Transfers! Oh my gosh. In lectures, you spend time learning the proper body position to transfer someone from a wheelchair. But when they actually need to transfer someone, it’s ‘Can someone help me?’ Bam. It’s done.”
Because St. Luke’s College is a 45-minute drive from Dordt, nursing students carpool and are reimbursed for their mileage. Students bring personal vehicles or rent Dordt vans from the maintenance department. The daily drive forms a bond among the students, one that is stronger than the community built within many other majors.
“We work together as well as going to school together,” Currey said. “So it’s easier to get to know them.”
Although nursing majors are allowed to participate in extracurricular activities – sports, music, theatre – splitting time between Dordt and St. Luke’s can be disconcerting.
“Many nursing majors feel like they don’t even go to Dordt anymore,” Currey said. “This is just the place where they sleep.”
Cherish your nursing major friendships, and get to know these human beings on a personal level.
“We need to have friends outside of nursing,” Currey said. “We need to talk about something other than tests, quizzes and crazy stories from what we see on the floor.”