Tess Hemmila-Staff Writer
Starting in the fall of 2018, the entire nursing program at Dordt will be completely redone. In previous years, the program has been based almost solely at Saint Luke’s Regional Medical Center. Current students take the courses and clinicals—making up a majority of their education—at Saint Luke’s. When the new program is instituted, Dordt will be working with local hospitals and medical centers in a variety of cities, including Sioux Center and Sioux Falls. Along with the change in hospitals, the program will now conduct all necessary nursing courses on campus; students will no longer need to drive 53 minutes to Sioux City for nursing classes.
With the increase in classes on campus comes the need for many adjustments to the program as a whole. The curriculum that will be taught in upcoming semesters will be adopt a more modern way of teaching: concept-based curriculum.
The idea behind concept-based curriculum is that it starts by teaching the intricacies of the anatomy in question, how to assess the condition of a patient, and finally leads up to a tentative diagnosis of the patient. Other curriculum takes a more rigid path, teaching first by diagnosis and then on how a certain disease or ailment affects the patient.
Another factor of the revamp is the hiring of new professors to staff the extra classes that will now be held on campus. The nursing program is currently housed in a small building by any standards, but with the projected increase in both staff and overall program size, a new nursing building is rumored to be in the works.
While the transition between programs may have some difficulties, both staff and students are looking forward to the change.
“The department wanted to make the change to teach here,” said Deb Bomgaars, Director of the Nursing program. “A part of that was because the Reformed perspective that we have here at Dordt is not present at Saint Luke’s. Our students spend a huge amount of time at Saint Luke’s and they just want to be able to go to chapel and enjoy campus life.”
Before the curriculum was even in the works, the faculty were discussing the possibilities of improving upon the already successful program. According to Bomgaars, “There was the question, ‘could we or should we?’ when discussing the program… Eventually we came to the conclusion that yes, we should.”
As this program will not be instituted until next year, the choice between the old and the new approach has been put to the freshman; each current freshman has the choice to either take the St. Luke’s route or Dordt’s new approach. Allison Kooiman, a freshman nursing student, described the decision as “choosing between the chicken or the egg. The results will be similar, it’s just about how you get there.”