Finding a Pulse for Nursing at Northwestern
By Jenny Collins ’05
Lindsay Larson ’14 began as an early childhood education major in 2011. But after one semester, she decided to pursue nursing—a decision that forced her to join the ranks of many other students who had transferred to other schools for nursing.
“I was really upset I had to leave [Northwestern],” said Larson, who enrolled in nursing at a local community college. “I loved the campus and the people.”
But taking anatomy at a secular college didn’t sit well with Larson, who was uncomfortable with her instructor’s beliefs. She dropped the anatomy course, unsure of what to do.
At the Minnesota State Fair this year, Larson and her mother stopped by the NWC booth and found out that the college is preparing to launch a nursing program. On campus, Larson met with Associate Professor of Biology Bruce Simat, Ph.D., whose specialty for the past 18 years has been preparing NWC students for careers in the health sciences.
Simat took quick action to help her reenroll. Although it was a few weeks into the semester, they were able to map out her courses and within two hours, she was registered for online courses and sitting in Dr. Lisanne Winslow’s anatomy class. After class, Larson dropped her community college courses and she is now on track to enter NWC’s first nursing class, projected to begin in May 2013.
Why nursing? Why now?
It is with the same gusto that Northwestern is launching its proposed Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which offers an accelerated 16-month program for qualified students.
Over the last decade, the national call for more nurses saw an expanding need for nursing education. After offering pre-nursing courses for years, Simat is elated to see a nursing program finally get legs, saying, “It’s a good fit now.”
Another excellent fit is Ginger Wolgemuth, Ph.D., R.N., who began as the chair of the Department of Nursing in May. Wolgemuth comes with 25 years of experience in nursing education in Christian schools, most recently at Indiana Wesleyan University.
“The thing that drives me ultimately is the mission of the college,” Wolgemuth said. “We can meet the physical and spiritual needs of our community and provide service and ministry throughout the world.”
Northwestern also has a rich history of combining spiritual care with health care. In the 1950s, the school had a missionary medicine program (led by the father of Professor of History Charles Aling), to train missionaries in basic nursing skills.
Construction for nursing labs and classrooms began in September in the Northwestern Office Center located south of campus, which offered the only existing space that met state board requirements for zoning and incurred the least amount of renovation costs.
Learn more about the nursing program or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-631-5110.
Nursing in a nutshell
The proposed nursing (BSN) program offers:
- A blended learning format—students will enjoy both face-to- face and online learning
- A Christ-centered approach to service and care— combining faith with a nursing career
- Inter-professional collaboration—regular interaction with health care professionals
- Clinical immersions—students will gain focused experience with cross-cultural and population-based learning opportunities