Fulfilling Lifelong Dreams to become a Nurse and Teacher: Meet Sheron Cox

“I always thought to become a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses.” Sheron Cox knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was very young. Not only did she fulfill her mission, but she was able to follow her other dream of becoming a teacher when she joined Nightingale College as an instructor at the Evanston DDC in December 2016.

Nightingale College Faculty

Where did you complete your nursing degree? Do you have any specific certificates?

I completed my nursing degree at University of Wyoming. I was a Robert Wood Johnson scholar in the BRAND (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree) program.

What attracted you to teaching nursing learners? What is your favorite part about teaching nursing learners?

Teaching is very near and dear to my heart. I always thought to become  a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses. My favorite part about teaching new learners is their drive to learn and motivation to become a nurse, and their willingness to devote their life to taking care of others.

What is the best feature about Nightingale College? Why do you love working here?

The best feature about Nightingale College is the compassion every collaborator has towards the learners, helping and guiding them to gain a nursing education. I love being surrounded by some of the most intelligent, experienced instructors who help me grow as a new instructor.

We have our three C’s: confidence, competence, and compassion. Do nurses need all three to be a great nurse? In your opinion, what is the number one characteristic a nurse should have in order to be a great nurse?

I believe every nurse needs all the three C’s to be a great nurse. However, compassion is the number one characteristic a nurse should have to take care of the suffering.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?

I grew up in a third world country, Fiji Island. Growing up, I realized how poverty, lack of education and lack of nurses affected the lives of many people. People were diagnosed with chronic illnesses but they didn’t understand the etiology of the disease, there were no medications available because people couldn’t afford them. Families didn’t know how to take care of their loved ones who were suffering due to lack of education, and illnesses were preserved as taboo. I always knew I wanted to change that perspective.

Most often when we are kids, we have our dream career. However, majority end up not in the profession their younger self predicted. Have you always wanted to be a nurse? If not, what was your dream career?

My mother used to tell me, growing up I would be a teacher one day and a nurse on other days. I would check my siblings temperatures and pretend to give them meds all day along or yell at them for not writing in a straight line. Deep within my heart I knew I wanted to be a nurse.  And here I am a nurse and a teacher. Not very many people get to live both dreams.

Going off of the previous question, what is your one piece of advice you want to give our nursing learners?

Keep investing in your own learning, even when it’s hard. And keep searching for a way to contribute to something that helps humanity!

Education is very important, especially when it comes to health care and caring for patients. Do you encourage learners to move forward to a BSN Degree then a MSN Degree? Are you an endorser for nurses to continue their education to at least a BSN Degree level?

Healthcare is a fast growing industry and as nurses, we need to combine our nursing skills and latest medical theory, research, and evidence-based medicine to improve patient care. Pursuing higher education has benefited me through my career and helped transitioned me to  a leader and focus on education, leadership and administration.

Share one of your favorite nursing experiences.

My favorite nursing experience is when I am out with my family in my small community of Evanston. I get lots of hugs from my patients and patient families.

Nursing school is a constant learning adventure, but you often run across a challenge or two. What was one of your bigger challenges you faced in nursing school and how did you overcome it?

I graduated from University of Wyoming’s BRAND program (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree)  which was 15 months in duration . My biggest challenge was time management because I had never been through an accelerated program. I struggled with working on assignments, studying, taking tests and keeping up with friends and families. After my first week, I learned quick that I needed to put away 15 months of my life to be successful.

Always remember, nursing school, either be a traditional or an accelerated program, requires a tremendous amount of time and commitment. And all nursing programs are temporary. You will get your life back and it will come with two initials at the end of your name, RN.

Outside of caring for patients and training our learners to be nurses, what are some of you hobbies you enjoy?

I love traveling to different countries with my husband and experiencing their culture and of course, I am always curious about the country’s healthcare system.

What is your most proudest accomplishment?

16 years ago, I left my family and traveled to United States to pursue an education. Here I am with two BSNs, a nurse by profession, pursing MSN as a clinical analyst and leadership and married to my wonderful husband of 10 yrs.

Everyone has a bucket list. What are two or three items on your bucket list?

My number one thing on my bucket list is to join my volunteer organization Soroptimist International in a third world country to support women and girls in their quest to lead better lives, be empowered, ending violence against women and help women reach their full potential and live their dream.

What are some of your goals (personal and professional) for the next few years?

My personal and professional goal for the next few years to keep making a difference in others lives.

What will be your legacy?

I want to be remembered for my commitment, empowerment and motivation in supporting women and girls in their quest to lead better lives while gaining inspiration in my own life.

What has been the most daring thing you have ever done?

The most daring thing I have ever done is packed a suit case after graduating high school and boarded a plane to San Francisco from Fiji Island leaving my family behind to pursue  education and build my American Dream.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Ah…. I see my glass as half full. I am very grateful for the miles I traveled to come build my dream. I guess if I didn’t take a chance, my glass could have been half empty. It’s all about your perspective.

Share anything else you’d like with us. 

I am very passionate about improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Growing up in a third world country where girls and women didn’t have access to education and training that they needed to reach their full potential and live their dreams always inspired me to make a difference.

I am a member of a global women’s organization called Soroptimist International and belong to our local club Soroptimist International Evanston. The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

Other than my career as a nurse and nursing instructor, I look forward to continuing my education and volunteer work.  I will be married to my best friend and husband Ben for 10 years in May. He is my ROCK and inspires me to do better everyday and brings out the best in me.

Coming Together: Flame! Forward! Week and Give Back Day, April 2017

No matter how far away, collaborators travel from across the nation for a week-long College conference designed to inspire, motivate, and reignite the passion for what we do at Nightingale College. Together, collaborators are inspired and reminded of the College’s mission, building belonging and desire that help catapult the College forward towards its goal of serving communities. Majority of the week is dedicated to collaborating and developing personally and professionally; however, one day is different. That day is Give Back Day, a favorite among many collaborators.

Give Back Day, April 2017

Nightingale College’s Flame! Forward! Week

While we focus on deliberate development and opportunities to ELEVATE our personal and professional lives, Flame! Forward! is dedicated to all College collaborators and a time we celebrate some of the successes certain collaborators have achieved the past year. We recognize these collaborators with the Flame! Forward! Award. We would like to congratulate the collaborators who received the 2017 Flame! Forward! Award:

  • Ashley Thompson, Manager, Learner Advising and Life Resources
  • Jamila Lowe, Coordinator, Career Services
  • Chase Harmon, Assistant, Learner Support Services
  • Stacie McVay, Assistant Manager, Admissions
  • Chyleen Tucker, Assistant Professor
  • Earlene Cooper, Assistant Professor
  • Su-Ellen Johnson, Assistant Professor

Every year, one collaborator receives the induction into the College’s esteemed Founders Club. Founders Club members are a collection of the College’s collaborators who continuously exhibit the seven values and have significantly contributed to the College. We would like to congratulate Linda Flynn (Manager, Associate Degree Programs) for her outstanding dedication to the College and its collaborators. Linda was inducted into the Founders Club on April 17, 2017.

Check out some of our captured moments of Flame! Forward! Week below.

Nightingale College’s Give Back Day

Twice a year the College collaborators get together to serve the community, an effort we call Nightingale College Give Back Day. The semi-annual Give Back Day is an opportunity to step into the community to go beyond self. We challenge our learners every day to find the compassion for their patients and to understand the simple saying of “walk a mile in their shoes.” Just like we challenge our learners, our collaborators are challenged to dig deep to find opportunities to give back, whether it is a simple act of lending a hand or volunteering at a large-scale event.

On April 21, 2017, a sea of blue shirts with the same logo headed over to Catholic Community Services in downtown Ogden. The Catholic Community Services (CCS) serves individuals and families in need across the Wasatch Front. (Looking for an opportunity to serve the community? Visit Catholic Community Services for volunteer information. Click here.)

Nightingale College collaborators provided a service we do very well, staffed a health clinic available to the CCS community, thanks to our wonderful nurses. Meanwhile, those who do not carry the respectable two letters “RN” behind their name still made a difference and assisted in the food pantry and sorted out donations. Check out our photos below.

We’d like to thank the Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah for hosting us last Friday. What a humbling and fun Give Back Day.

Facts about Nightingale College and Its Learners

Facts about Nightingale College

What should you know about Nightingale College and its learners besides the fact that the College specializes in nursing education and our learners are on their way to serving their community as nurses? Making the decision to enroll in any nursing school takes considerable thought. Such a decision requires enough research to find the best school that fits your needs. While it may seem that many schools are the same, the smallest differences may be the deciding factor. The main point is to always look at all the options before jumping in with both feet, especially with such a big decision.

To help make your research easier and to show what Nightingale College offers, here is a list of just a few milestones and facts. However, we suggest not just relying on what we say in this article but contact our Admissions Advisors by clicking here to learn more about the College and its nursing education programs.

Nightingale College proudly offers nursing education programs that challenge learners with the latest evidence-based concepts and train learners the necessary skills to treat patients in a variety of environments. One of the most attractive aspects of the nursing profession is career stability and mobility. With over one hundred nursing professions, nurses have the ability to practice in different health fields and the opportunity to advance quickly, if determined to do so.

Up and coming Nightingale College revolutionizes the way nursing education is delivered. Check out seven of our main facts we’d like you to know.

Nightingale College is a full-distance (blended) nursing program. A main advantage to Nightingale College is the ability to deliver nursing education online. Learners have access to a portal that houses their classes, assignments, discussions, and exams. However, not all nursing education can be instructed online. Nursing learners need hands-on training. We help learners receive the necessary training through our on-ground labs, simulations, and clinicals. Our on-ground components allow learners to learn and practice the skills needed when providing patient care. Learners are supervised and instructed by one of our faculty members.

Coming to school and sitting in a lecture hall for a few hours is not the way we do it nor do we think it is the best way to learn. However, attending a program that has any online component entails the learner to be accountable for their success in the program. Skim through our blog to find helpful articles on communicating online and attending class online.

Nightingale College has an RN-to-BSN Program. We know how important nurses are to their communities and the impact they have that surpass the community boundaries. Nurses are able to influence health care. To become a licensed nurse, nursing learners need to graduate from an ADN Program then pass the NCLEX-RN. However, until recently, nurses did not have to pursue higher degrees to remain a nurse. With the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80% of nurses be BSN prepared, health care employers are beginning to see the importance of having BSN-prepared nurses on staff. Currently, many open positions list a BSN Degree as a preferred qualification.

We want our learners and nurses to succeed, so we designed our RN-to-BSN Program to help licensed nurses get their BSN Degree quickly and locally. The Program features full-distance delivery with two projects (Community Health Project and employer-focused Capstone Leadership Project) to help BSN learners advance their knowledge. Nursing is a profession requiring lifelong education. We want to make sure our nurses in the community are educated and providing quality patient care.

As a bonus, our ADN Program alumni receive $50 off per semester credit with the Alumni Tuition Waiver. It is important to prepare for your future as a nurse whether you are still in nursing school, a new nurse, or veteran nurse. Click here to visit our RN-to-BSN Program website.

Nightingale College features accelerated programs. Accelerated may scare some away, but for those who are up for the task, come join the fun at Nightingale College. Our programs are meant to be completed at a quicker pace than other nursing programs. As an option for people pursing nursing as a second career, our program’s method of delivery (see first point) allows learners to continue to work while attending school. We do not recommend working full time but we have seen it done by many learners who were successful. It just takes organization and dedication to sticking to a set routine. Check out our recent article on juggling studying and a full-time job. Click here to read our post.

Nightingale College is accessible to learners in various states that have been approved. Part of our mission is to bring nursing education to rural communities and communities that are struggling with the nursing shortage. Communities do not benefit when residents leave to attend school, often times not returning after graduation because of the available jobs in larger cities. We discovered that residents who are educated locally tend to stay local after graduation. We are dedicated to helping our rural communities provide nurses who are qualified and passionate about serving their neighbors.

To learn the states we have partnerships in, visit our DDC-dedicated page and click on Prospective Learner. Click here to head on over.

Nightingale College trains confident, competent, and compassionate future nurses. In today’s world, it is all about having the confidence to know you are doing right by your patient, the competence to understand the needs of your patient, and the compassion to help them along the way. Our curriculum is grounded in the three C’s of the College. Learners are introduced to the three C’s right when they attend New Learner Orientation. Do you think you have the confidence, competence, and compassion to be a nurse? You’ll need to apply to the school first to know if you are tough enough to be a nurse. Challenge accepted?

Nightingale College uses unique terms. As you have already deduced, we use “learner” in replace of “student.” A student, according to Merriam-Webster, is one who attends school or one who studies. A learner, by definition, describes an individual who gains knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience.

Why did we make the switch in terminology? Learners immerse themselves in nursing concepts, become curious to why certain things occur, and ask questions. When these three actions occur, we know the act of learning is effectively transpiring. The challenge to learners embodies full understanding of a concept with internal and external motivation of providing great patient care. Students emulate what they assume the instructor wants to see and receive knowledge to only pass the test and class. The challenge to students incorporates knowing concepts for a brief period of time with internal motivation of passing the class as center focus.

We challenge our learners to gain the knowledge and skills that will mold them into nurses, information cemented in their brain so they ready to better serve their patients. We encourage them to become lifelong learners as health care is an ever-changing and advancing field.

Ultimately, it is better to be a learner of something than a student of something.

Another term that is unique to Nightingale College is the use of “collaborator” instead of “employee.” Just as a heads up if you do come across the term.

Nightingale College has high interest in rural health care. As mentioned above, the current status of health care in our rural communities is worrisome. These communities are being affected to a higher degree by the nursing shortage than their urban counterparts. To advance the discussion, more and more people are retiring in rural areas to escape the busy lifestyle. Population in rural areas grow although the younger population migrate to other locations. Who is there to care for the community when the younger generation chases opportunities outside of the small community?

We want to help residents stay local to serve their family, neighbors, and community. Additionally, we want to help rural health care facilities staff their units with quality nurses who have a means of advancing their education past a CNA, LPN, and ADN level.

Nightingale College Learners (Our Favorite Subject)

Nightingale College offers a fun, education-focused environment designed for learners serious about their nursing future.

Nightingale learners are self-motivated future nurses. Can we boast a minute about our nursing learners? One thing each learner has in common with their fellow cohort is their determination to succeed. With a blended environment, learners need to be motivated and accountable to stay on top of didactic learning and online discussions and assignments. They are responsible for asking the right questions, which can be difficult to learn when first engaging in an online environment.

Nightingale learners are looking to serve their community. Learners supporting our own mission helps us deliver better service to communities. Banded together with the help of our learners, the College is able to work with health care facilities to support local education and local employment.

Nightingale learners are dedicated learners who are ready to serve their communities as nurses upon graduation (and after passing the NCLEX-RN). Enough said.

 

The Leading Cause of Death to a Nurse’s Career: Social Media

social media

Let’s face it, social media has integrated into daily life, changed the means of communication, and how we interact with others. However, that is not the worst. Deemed as the silent career killer, social media can influence how a future or current employer views you.

We are guessing you are here for the simple fact that you’re interested in knowing the protocols of social media etiquette and professionalism especially in the nursing field. With laws such as HIPAA, nurses are held to a higher standard than other social media users and need to understand what is appropriate to post–work related. It is not uncommon to see posts and tweets around someone’s employer or place of employment–good and bad. In this article, we are going to explore two social media topics: 1) social media use as a nurse and 2) social media use as a potential employee.

We suggest reading up on the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) 6 Tips for Nurses Using Social Media. Click here to view their article. Our Learner Advising and Life Resources (LALR) Department is equipped to help learners if there are questions, and our Career Services Department is ideal to meet with to review your social media pages before graduation. They are trained to spot social media “career killers” and have ways to help clean up your profile.

Social Media Use as a Nurse

As we just mentioned, nurses are held to a higher standard than other social media users. Just as a nurse is not allowed to share a patient’s information with another individual, a nurse shouldn’t post about it. There is a hard line of what is acceptable and not when it comes to nurses’ social media use. Nursing is the number one trusted profession. Simply posting about a rough day at work or the stress you felt with a patient may seem innocent, but tread lightly. To be safe, keep your feelings and anything related to a patient (and employer) out of your social media newsfeed.

Imagine posting about a troubling day at work and the outcome of a patient on your Facebook. Names left out. The patient’s condition not included. Just a quick post. Seems harmless. However, a friend on your page could know the patient personally or through another person, which may not be taken lightly when something is said or when the patient finds out. Disney had it right, “it is a small world after all.”

The AMA has set principles for social media that every nurse and nursing learner should be aware of. Again, we suggest checking out their quick article and tips. Click here to view the information and make sure to remember it.

Social Media Use as a Ready-to-Hire Candidate

social media and nursesBefore we dive in too deep, we are often asked one question: why do I need to care about my social media pages? Well, hold on tight. We are about to throw some hard facts your way.

Majority of employers and recruiters scan candidates’ social media pages before sending the interview invitation. Scary to think that you may not be considered for a position that you have worked so hard for because your social media pages speak not highly of your character. Employers have become more invested in what employees post because employees represent their employer both while on and off the clock.

As walking billboards for their future employer, employees should care more about the status of their social media pages before and during the application process. You shouldn’t be surprised many employers look to social media to learn a bit more about a candidate. Can you guess the first social media channel they chose? It’s Facebook.

Facebook is the perfect platform for employers to learn more about a candidate, their interests, and more importantly their relationships with others.

Our Tips to Spruce Up Your Social Media Presence

Time to spring clean your social media pages. We don’t mean before your graduate, but now as a nursing learner. It is time to think of yourself as a professional nurse and portray yourself as one. Follow our tips below to clean up your pages.

  • Review all your social media pages quarterly. You never know when a job will grab your interests. Keep your profiles up to date and take the time to analyze what you are saying about yourself on your pages.
  • Review photo albums. Remove any photos that you do not want to have out in the public and untag yourself from photos that may taint your reputation.  Photos do speak a thousand words, and looking at photos can tell an employer quite a bit about a candidate.
  • Quickly read through your comments and posts on your page. Go as far back as you can to see if any posts could damage your professionalism. If you find any, delete the posts from your page. Like photos, what you post and the comments you make reflect you. Rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want your mother seeing it, then it doesn’t need to be on our page.
  • Interests and hobbies oh my! What makes Facebook a great first choice for employers is how the social media channel allows you to share your interests and hobbies. Take a gander at what pages you have followed, the topics you associated with, and the hobbies you shared. Could these interests and hobbies potentially stab you in the back? Well, if they can, trash them.
  • Which one are you? Profile photos are important. Facebook is no LinkedIn, but having a profile photo that is of you–and only you–can help employers find you. And we need to mention the importance of having a tasteful photo. In terms of LinkedIn, your profile photo should be professional and a close head shot; we suggest a typical elementary-school type photo.
  • Set post approvals. We have all been in the situation where a friend has tagged us in a photo or post that we aren’t too happy to be associated with. Fear no more. Facebook has a setting that any post to your page or a post with your name tagged needs your permission before being posted to your page or being tagged. Great setting that we rave about and can save you from unfriendly posts and photos.
  • Get a LinkedIn page. A hot topic in today’s job market is the relevance of the old-fashioned paper resume and cover letter. Although the traditional style has not gone out of style, many jobs allow you to apply to a position with your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn is basically an online resume that not only can be used to apply for jobs and showcase your education and skills, but LinkedIn is a great platform to network. Yes, nurses. You need to learn the art of networking.
    • Join Nightingale’s LinkedIn network. Nightingale College’s presence on LinkedIn is active with connections to lead faculty for the College and alumni, and like-minded individuals interested in higher education and health care. By joining the College’s LinkedIn network, you will have access to faculty and alumni who can help you along nursing school and into the nursing profession. They also have the opportunity to be great resources for you when hunting for references. For example, you may find a graduate that is employed at a facility you have had your eye on after doing several rounds of clinicals. You enjoy the environment, the people, and the company. Using LinkedIn’s Career Insights for Alumni Tool, you are able to connect with the graduate and reach out to learn more about working at the facility.

What Story are You Telling

Think of what your story is? Why did you pursue nursing? What type of nurse do you hope to be?

This style of questions help you discover what your story is; the story you should share with future employers and the story that should transition to your online presence.

Popular Admissions Questions and Answers

Popular admissions questions

Let’s get down to it: do you know what questions to ask during an Admissions interview? Our Admissions team gets bombarded with questions daily and despite their uncanny ability to answer questions quickly, some questions can be answered simply by doing minor research. However, don’t let that discourage you from asking questions when you are given the opportunity. Knowing what to ask is important when considering such a big step as enrolling in nursing school. So, avoid the mistake of assumption and ask those questions. But, please do some research. The answer may already be available to you. Hence why we decided to throw together our most popular Admissions questions and answers. (Don’t forget to check out the bonus article at the end, Tips to Prepare You for Your Admissions Meeting.

When asked what the more popular Admissions questions and answers were, our advisors gave us the top questions most often asked and the correct answers.

Popular Admissions (and Financial Aid) Questions and Answers

  1. Will my previous college courses transfer over? And what general education credits does Nightingale College require?

This is a great question and made number one on our list of popular Admissions questions. Accepting college credit from another institution is done on a case-by-case basis. Sit down with an Admissions Advisor and request that your transcript be reviewed early in the admissions process to see what courses will transfer. For future reference, transfer credit is only determined by the receiving institution; we can’t guarantee the institution will accept the credits. The same goes for us. At the end of your time with the College and if you pursue higher education at another institution, you will be curious to see if your credits transfer to another school. Unfortunately, we can’t determine that for the institution and you will need to contact the receiving institution for information.

To enroll in our program, we require credits in Human Anatomy (4 semester credits), Human Physiology (4 semester credits), Pathophysiology (3 semester credits), English (3 semester credits), Algebra (3 semester credits), and Social Science (3 semester credits).

To learn more about what is required to enroll in our ADN Program, check out our Program Plan by clicking here. Already an RN who is ready to advance their education? View our Admissions Requirements for the RN-to-BSN Program by clicking here.

  1. I haven’t taken any college courses. Do I need to take my general education courses elsewhere and transfer the credits to Nightingale College’s program?

It seems we have a pattern among questions. If you have wondered about GE courses, don’t worry. You are not alone. Making number two on our list is for potential learners who come to the College with no previous college experience. We don’t want you going anywhere else to receive your education, so to help alleviate the stress with choosing a school to attend for GEs then dealing with the hassle of transferring credit, you can complete all your GE requirements with Nightingale College. Visit with an Admissions Advisor to learn more.

  1. Is Nightingale’s program completely online? How does that work with labs and clinicals?

Let’s focus first on the ADN Program. No. The program is not completely online. Our ADN Program is a blend of online and on-ground learning experiences. Courses have an online component filled with modules and lectures, discussions, and homework assignments. Once reaching Level I in the program, simulation labs and clinicals become part of the courses, which cannot be completed online. To give each learner real world experience, learners participate in assigned local, on-ground simulation labs supervised by a qualified faculty member. Our labs include high-fidelity mannequins that simulate various illnesses that challenge learners to interact with a patient. Additionally, learners attend local clinicals at health care centers in the community.

Our RN-to-BSN Program is for working RNs looking to further their nursing education and advance their degree level. The program is online and can be completed within your community. Our Capstone Leadership and Community Health Projects fall under the clinical requirements but can be done in your community and at your place of employment. Check out our Capstone Leadership Project by clicking here. Our Capstone Leadership Project is unique in that its employer focused. In other words, you get the opportunity to work alongside your employer to solve a problem within the facility. Are you ready to stand out among your coworkers as a nursing leader? We are ready to help you be prepared.

  1. What about financial aid? What do you offer as far as resources?

Landing at number four on our most popular Admissions questions is concerning financial aid. Nightingale College receives Title IV Federal Financial Aid, which allows us to accept financial assistance such as the FAFSA. We know how expensive nursing school is so we accept veteran’s funding, private student loans, and tuition reimbursement among others. Each new learner is required to meet with our Financial Aid Department. During this time, our Financial Aid Advisors will help you navigate federal funding, scholarships, loans, and other financial aid resources. Financial aid is done on an individual basis so take the time to learn the ins and outs of the resources available to you.

For our ADN Program graduates, we offer an Alumni Tuition Waiver that discounts $50 per semester credit when you enroll into our RN-to-BSN Program. Don’t forget to chat with your Financial Aid Advisor about it.

  1. What is meant by lab assignments?

Before going too far into the admissions process, your specific lab assignment will be determined. Now, don’t get overwhelmed. The term “lab assignment” is our way of defining the lab which you will attend in your local area for simulation labs. As you already know, a portion of the course is taught online, giving you the ability to complete the ADN Program without the need to move away to attend school. But to gain the necessary skills and hands-on experience needed to become a nurse, simulation labs are critical to your development. Your Admissions Advisor will look at your place of residence and enroll you in a local lab assignment (where the College has been approved to deliver its education) with the goal of keeping you as close to home as possible.

  1. Isn’t financial aid free?

This question is better addressed in a video from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office.

Tips to Prepare You for Your Admissions Meeting

After reading the popular Admissions questions, now it is time to prep you for your Admissions meeting. Being prepared for your Admissions meeting is important, and just like doing your homework prior to the meeting, have questions ready to go, be attentive, and show you are ready to become a nurse.

  • Come prepared with questions and comments. While doing your research to learn more about the program of interest, keep a piece of paper nearby to jot down questions and comments. Having a little reminder such as quick notes can help meeting with an Admissions Advisor more effective and efficient. As you continue to research more, you may find the answer yourself and can scratch the question off of your list.
  • Dress professionally/appropriately. Although your first meeting with an Admissions Advisor may not be your official nursing school interview, it is important to dress appropriately. Show that you are taking the decision to enroll in nursing school seriously and part of that commitment is dressing the part. Skip the jeans and leave the sneakers and tank tops at home. Opt for a nice pair of pants, dress shoes (ladies, flats or heels, the choice is yours), and a nice top.
  • Don’t bring your whole family. It is nice to see that you cherish your family. However, bringing additional people, whether family or friends, to your Admissions meeting can be distracting for both you and the Admissions Advisor. Ease your stress of placating those around you by peeling away from your family and friends for an hour to two to meet with the Admissions Advisor.
  • Don’t fabricate your answers. The main goal of the Admissions meeting is to allow the Admissions Advisor to assess what is needed for you to enroll. Admissions Advisors need answers to specific questions about your educational history. Don’t steal time away by telling a falsehood to any question. Be open and honest during your Admissions meeting. If you are unsure of how to answer a question, it is okay to ask the Advisor to clarify or simply say “I don’t know.” Although, if you do say “I don’t know,” follow up by asking how you can find the answer or how you plan to reconnect with the Advisor once you find the answer.
  • Understand the deadlines involved. There are definite deadlines that need to be met when going through the Admissions process. The Advisor will explain the process step by step during your meeting. This is no time to slack off. To help you remember deadlines, ask for a printout of the deadlines, write them down on a paper (because you are prepared and brought some additional paper and pen), or schedule them in your phone. It is easy to overlook the deadlines once the Admissions meeting is over. But you are committed to enrolling in a nursing program, so we are sure you won’t forget. As a heads up, make your’s and your Advisor’s job a bit simpler by being on top of deadlines.
  • Be responsible for your success. The Admissions process can be lengthy. Knowing your deadlines is just as important as being responsible for staying in contact with your Admissions Advisor. Your advisor is there to help you along the enrollment process and will try hard to remind you of your deadlines and materials need. However, it is up to you to stay in contact with your advisor. When questions come up after the Admissions meeting, pick up the phone and give your Admissions Advisor a call. We want you to get all of the required information in as soon as possible, so you can start preparing for the first semester.
  • Prepare your answers to two questions. You will be asked several questions to allow the Admissions Advisor to get to know you and your motivation for enrolling in the program. Part of an Admissions Advisor’s job is to gauge the interest level of any potential learner and to determine whether the individual possesses the skills and determination to be successful in nursing school. As you have already understood, nursing school is challenging and it is the role of the Admissions Advisor to assess the potential learner. No matter how many questions you will be asked, you will be asked two straight forward questions that having a prepared answer for or at least an idea will help: 1) why are you interested in enrolling in our nursing program and 2) why are you interested in being a nurse. Take some time to dive in deep to the reasons why you chose the school and the profession.

We are excited to see your interest in becoming a nurse and are privileged to know that you have taken significant interest in our nursing programs. Our Admissions Advisors are your advocates throughout the enrollment process and are specialists in the Admissions process. Come to your Admissions meeting excited and with an optimistic attitude to learn more about the program. If you have additional questions or concerns after meeting with your Admissions Advisor, don’t hesitate to send a quick email or jump on the phone for a few minutes.  Our number one goal when you come to Admissions is to ensure you are fully aware of what is required and needed to enroll and be successful in the nursing program.

Money Management for Learners

Money managementMoney management is always a hot topic and there are various strategies for managing finances and setting a budget floating around the Internet. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Money management is unique to everyone. It can be challenging managing your money when you are a full-time learner.  Some learners may have a job while balancing school, but many learners do not work. Learners who work and don’t work should both be conscious of how their money is being divided and work to set a budget. It’s time to position yourself in the right direction in terms of finances. Don’t live paycheck to paycheck after graduation.

Money management and learning the art of budgeting, along with other focuses, is a service our Learner Advising and Life Resources Department (LALR) offers to learners. Nursing school is a big investment. We know that with such an investment, our learners should be provided with resources to help manage their finances. Not only is money management a skill that is necessary while in school but long after you have graduated.

For more information about money management for learners, contact the LALR Department.

Tips for Money Management

Here are a few tips and a few websites that will help you manage your money while in school that you can continue to use later after graduation.

Set a budget. As mentioned, a specific budget will not work for everyone. Even a budget that you are using may need tweaking here and there to adjust to the new priorities you have set. A budget is meant to allocate your money to your top priorities first, including savings. We suggest the 50/20/30 budget rule.

Here is the 50/20/30 budgeting rule:

50% of your income is for fixed or essential spending (like rent, food, student loans, etc.)

20% of your income is for savings or paying off debt

30% of your income is for flexible spending (like phone, gas, entertainment, etc.)

To learn more about the 50/20/30 budgeting rule, ask the LALR Department or click here to view an article by Mint, an Intuit product.

Set your priorities. According to the 50/20/30 budgeting rule, fifty percent of your income should be directed at essentials (or priorities). Take a few minutes to jot down the essential spends that you have. Be very careful to only include what is necessary in your life such as rent and food.

Always have an emergency fund. When setting a budget, many people forget to include an emergency fund. An emergency fund goes beyond what is included in your savings account. Always set some of your income aside for your emergency fund. You’ll never know when you’ll need it.

Stay on top of your budget and finances. How often do you check your bank statements? Make it a routine to check the status of your bank accounts at least once a week to every two weeks. It is easy to manage your money when you are fully aware of what you are spending on. Understanding where your money goes also gives you the ability to determine areas that you can cut back. It could be as simple as one or two less coffees a week or as impactful as cutting back in one area to pay more on a loan. You are able to make wiser decisions when you are knowledgeable of what is going on with your finances.

Work on paying off your debt. Paying off debt goes without saying, but it should be included in your essentials list. Depending on the amount of income you have allotted to pay specific debts, getting debt off your plate is a top goal.

Here are some tips to pay off debt and save at the same time:

  1. Eliminate any non-essential expenses
  2. Figure out exactly how much money you owe
  3. Create a new budget (using the 50/20/30 rule)
  4. Decide what percentage you want to put towards the debt. Maybe you will use 10% for debt and 10% for savings.
  5. Make it automatic. Set this up through your bank so that you don’t even have to think about it each month.

Eight Frugal Habits to Live By

Living frugal means being resourceful and smart with your money. Are you frugal with your money?

Here are eight frugal habits to live by:

  1. Think long term. Is this something that you would still want in 5 years?
  2. Pay your future self, first (saving is key!)
  3. Use everything to the last drop
  4. Look for deals and clip coupons
  5. Cook food at home rather than going out
  6. Don’t shop for entertainment
  7. Use a credit card with good rewards
  8. Carry just enough cash with you so you don’t over spend

Additional Resources

Along with the tips we have provided, there are several resources available to use such as BalanceTrack and MyMoney. If you have questions regarding the validity of a money management site, ask us and we can direct you in the right direction. Until then, check out these two sites by clicking the links below.

BalanceTrack: This website is a free short course that teaches you the core concepts of money management.  This course will teach you how to set goals, get organized, track spending, build a budget, and save money. Click here to head on over to the site.

MyMoney: This website has financial aid counseling, money management resources, online counseling,  budget calculators, and helps you navigate through the student loan process. Click here to check out the site.

New Collaborators Join the Nightingale College Team

Nightingale College Official Announcement
We are excited to announce the addition of ten new collaborators to the Nightingale team. Nightingale College’s dynamic environment is created not by accident. It is created and constantly molded by the contributions and efforts of the College’s collaborators.

A testament to fulfilling the College’s mission is exemplified by the collaborators who help write the story, illustrate the pages, and set the framework for future chapters. With each new collaborator comes a new perspective and character who is essential to continuing the Nightingale College story. As the College continues to grow and move forward, it is critical to maintain a team of innovative thinkers and passionate instructors.

Every collaborator at Nightingale College contributes to the realization of the College’s mission and vision.

Just as Florence Nightingale’s lamp lit up the night and helped the healing, let the Cradling Flame of the College’s Seal illuminate [their] way and guide [them] on our journey of supporting the learners in their quest to becoming great registered nurses. Once again, I am thrilled to have [them] as part of the Nightingale family!

Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College

We would like to welcome the new collaborators who joined the team mid-March and have already been astronomical in paving the way forward.

Greg Wightman, Elevate Coach

Rachel Outeiro, Registrar

Rochelle Morgan, Financial Aid Advisor 

Kimberlee Williams, Operations Coordinator, Clinical and Preceptorships 

Diana Neff, Nursing Faculty

Tayler Allen, Nursing Faculty

Kalise Price, Nursing Faculty

Michelle Crichfield, Nursing Faculty

Christine Albright, Nursing Faculty

Neeta Vyas, Nursing Faculty

 

FLAME! FORWARD!

 

To view our complete list of Officers, Faculty, and Staff, click here.

What Inspires Nurses to Return to School and Why You Should

return to school
What motivates nurses to return to school and why should you? An ADN-qualified, licensed nurse who is working in health care may not see the benefits of returning to school. After all, the nurse is licensed to work. The patient’s overall health is just as dependent on the medication being dispensed as it is on a nurse’s academic progression and level of knowledge.

“It’s great that you have achieved your ADN degree, passed NCLEX and became an RN. It is a dream that many have had but few have achieved. Now for the next step and that is to get your BSN. With your RN under your belt you’ll have opportunities to gain knowledge and grow in the field while you study online for your BSN. You’ll find working in the field while attending your BSN program will help you to not only do a better job but will also give life experiences that contribute to your understanding of your role as a nurse.” – Linda Flynn, MSN, RN (Manager, Associate Degree Programs)

The nursing field is continuously advancing and developing new systems and discovering new methods to treating patients. Nurses constantly are challenged to become lifelong learners to serve better patient care and improve health care throughout their community. Over the past decade, medical technology and knowledge has changed nursing practices, and as an evolving field, nursing practices will not stay stagnate. From the adoption of electric IVs as opposed to manual IVs and new patient monitoring systems, nurses require the latest knowledge and skills. Nurses without the proper training and knowledge base are left behind.

ADN Program Manager at Nightingale College, Linda Flynn, MSN, RN, reinforces and encourages her ADN Program learners to not just stop after getting an associate degree and licensed, but to push on to the next level of education: “The BSN degree will open doors for you and broaden your opportunities to explore more areas of nursing service. Health care is quickly moving from acute hospital care to acute care in community and home settings. Public health care and health promotion have been traditionally reserved for the BSN level Practitioner. It’s important as nurses that we stay in the forefront of progress and EBP. Getting your BSN is a valuable part of that process. Remember an ADN prepares you to become an RN and a BSN prepares you for the future.”

The future of nursing and a nurse’s career hinges on continuous educational improvement and a sense of accountability. Patients look to receive the best care possible during their (sometimes) most frightening time. Nurses who hold themselves accountable to always deliver quality patient care are driven to advance their level of education.

What are the benefits of returning to school to get a BSN degree?

RN-to-BSN Graduate proudThe popular perception is that balancing work and school is difficult, which hinder nurses from returning to school. (For tips on how to manage studying and work, check out our blog article How to Study and Hold Down a Full-Time Job.) Although the enrollment in RN-to-BSN programs have increased since the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80 percent of nurses hold a BSN degree, nurses struggle with the allotted time needed. “The largest hurdle for pursuit of the baccalaureate degree is its availability, timeliness, and convenience to attend while working as a professional nurse. Nightingale College offers professional nurses an opportunity to pursue his or her BSN on their schedule and at their convenience,” said Suzette Scheuermann, Nightingale College’s Director of Nursing Education Services. If the timing is correct and the program provides some sort of flexibility, a nurse may be more inclined to attend a program.

Why should you, as a nurse, return to school?

Accompanying a nurse’s desire to continue advancing their knowledge, employers see the benefits BSN-prepared nurses on staff have on the overall operations of the unit. Employers understand and align with the IOM’s recommendation and are beginning to request that current nurses return to school.

“The future of nursing lies in the age-old discussion of the ‘entry into practice’ being at the baccalaureate level. That time is upon us now, and it’s only a matter of time before a BSN is the requirement to practice as a registered nurse.” – Susan Jero, MSN, RN (Area Manager, DDCs)

Medicine is constantly evolving and adapting. Patients are requiring diverse treatments and intensive hospital stays. These two facts will not change. Nurses will be asked to continue their education to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. Don’t wait until you are forced to get your BSN, do it now! A BSN degree is expected to become the requirement for entry-level RN positions, will provide an array of opportunities to advance, help you pursue specific nursing specialties, and if anything, deliver the confidence to provide the best care for patients.

What to consider when deciding to return to school?

Getting licensed as a nurse is a big accomplishment, one that you should be very proud of achieving. The next step when considering returning to school is to look for an RN-to-BSN Program that allows flexibility and convenience. It does not make much sense to attend a school that requires you to travel long distances periodically throughout the week. Consider whether a full- or part-time program, accelerated, on-ground or online program fits your needs. It is a big commitment to return to school, but a commitment that, in the long run, will give you job and financial security. For a more in-depth look, check out our recent articles on The Real Difference between ADN and BSN Nurses to learn the various differences between the two degrees and Nurse Salary by State to view a comprehensive breakdown of salary per state.

Just as important as understanding the time commitment involved with attending a program, support systems need to be in place. The average time of completion for an RN-to-BSN Program is twelve months. So, for that period, you will be involved in studying and learning new material. Make sure to have the support of your family and friends as you take on the new endeavor, and don’t forget to seek support from your employer.

Nurses, Consider an RN-to-BSN Program.

Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program is a full-distance nursing program with full- and part-time options. The Program is designed with working RNs in mind. The College recognizes the importance a BSN degree has on a nurse’s career stability and wants to ensure nurses have opportunity to get their BSN degree without the need to move away. It is time to be prepared for your future as a nurse. Check out the College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

“Today, we need nurses who can help implement strategies to deliver highly technical but compassionate nursing care which contributes to self-care, health promotion and maintenance. Nurses to help build trusting relationships with clients and patients while having to navigate a constantly changing healthcare landscape. The BSN nurse enters the profession having acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes, to improve the safety and quality of patient care. These skills are used with clients across the lifespan and with acute and chronic illness; and in settings within the system and in the home. Other important skills acquired in baccalaureate nursing education include the use of data and technology to improve the working environment and the satisfaction of our clients. Further, BSN nurses are prepared to lead others to balance between personal and professional well-being, while delivering safe, high quality nursing care.” – Suzette Scheuermann, PhD, RN (Director, Nursing Education Services)

What is your motivation? Are you ready to hit the ground running to secure your future as a nurse? Click the button below to learn more about Nightingale College’s RN-to-BSN Program.

Click here to learn more

Double Duty: Meet Nightingale College Faculty Member Haley Mathson

Nightingale College FacultyWe started out the year gaining several new Nightingale College faculty members who have made such an impact in three short months. Haley Mathson, who joined Nightingale College’s nursing department as an instructor in January, is a prime example. With her passion and interest in nursing since she was very young, Haley instantly knew nursing was her career of choice. She is Nightingale’s Clinical and Lab Instructor at our Evanston, Wyoming DDC area.

What is your favorite part about being a Nightingale College faculty member?
I love the environment and being surrounded by such educated and passionate people. I feel part of the family in such a short amount of time. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to develop confident, competent and compassionate nurses!

Why did you want to become a nurse?
Since I was young, every time I would enter a hospital, whether it was for a family member or myself, I was so intrigued. I always wanted to know what the nurses were doing and I gained so much respect for them. I finally took the plunge to become a nurse after I was 2 classes away from receiving my BSW. I never regret making that change.

Do you specialize in a specific field of nursing?
I work as an ER nurse currently and it is my passion. I wouldn’t say I am an “adrenaline junky” necessarily, but I love a fast-paced environment. It keeps me on my toes! I have worked Medical/Surgical and OB. I am a Certified Emergency Nurse and a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, which I obtained in the last year.

If you weren’t a nurse, what would your ideal career look like?
Honestly, I cannot imagine doing anything else. My first job is being a mom and is equally as rewarding!

Nursing is a tough profession. If you don’t mind, share one of your more challenging experiences as a nurse and the outcome.
It is a hard job (if anyone ever tells you it is not, they are lying). I have had struggles to overcome. Generally speaking, the first few years are tough as you are finding your niche and developing a foundation in nursing.

What is your one piece of advice for nursing learners? What is a piece of advice for recent nursing school graduates?
My advice would be to never give up and continue to seek out learning opportunities. The first few years are the hardest as you begin to develop a foundation in nursing and find your place. A good mentor/leader is key and it took me a few years to find that.

Many learners do not think a BSN degree will help their career. What is your opinion? Should learners plan on getting a BSN degree?
I absolutely believe you should continue your education. I continued after my ADN program and received my BSN 1 year later. It makes you more marketable, opens doors for much more opportunity and creates a well-rounded nurse. You can never stop educating yourself, especially in healthcare.

What are some tips for ADN Program learners about to graduate in the upcoming months? Tips on NCLEX? Finding a job?
Take the NCLEX STAT! You know the information. Be confident. As far as finding a job, you will not have a hard time. I have always been a firm believer in starting on a Med/Surg floor where you can develop a foundation.

Tell us about you.
I grew up in Lyman, Wyoming, population 2,000. If you drive along I-80 Eastbound approximately 120 miles from Ogden, UT…don’t blink your eyes, you may miss it. It was a great place to grow up. I am married, have a daughter who is 11 and 3 step-children, 18, 15 and 10. They are my world. My absolute favorite place to vacation is Maui, Hawaii.

Finish the sentence: When I am not hanging around doing Nightingale stuff, you can . . . find me at my other job as a full-time ER nurse.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love music, coffee and spending time with my family and friends.

Are you a Coke or Pepsi fan?
Neither! Coffee!!

As a nurse, what is your favorite nursing memory? What keeps you motivated?
The ability to make a difference is probably number one. The patients keep you motivated. When a patient thanks you, whether it is for something simple or for saving their child’s life. There is truly nothing more rewarding and fulfilling. The ability to connect with other people and help them to find meaning in their life. It really never gets old.

We’d like to thank Haley for taking the time to participate in this interview.

DDC Partner Receives Distinguished Award

At Nightingale College, we enjoy celebrating the success of not only our learners and collaborators, but of our DDC Partners. DDC Partner Monte Vista Hills Health Care Center, located in Pocatello, Idaho, received the prestigious Ensign Flab award. The Ensign Flag award is given to a facility within the Ensign Group that excels within a variety of categories. The categories that a facility is scored in are clinical outcome, quality measures, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, regulatory inspections, compliance audits, financial performance, and cultural contribution to the organization.

Nightingale College is honored to be associated with a health care facility that goes beyond self to serve the community, patients, and employees.

To view the official media announcement, visit the link http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14118409.htm.