Changing careers and becoming a nurse is an exciting way to start off the New Year. Especially since registered nurses are in demand due to a retirement wave of current nurses and aging baby boomers in need of more medical care. Before you begin weighing your nursing school options, it’s helpful to set your nursing career goals so you can find a program that has qualities that line up with your future plan.
Concordia fit the missions that I wanted and gave me the opportunity to succeed in my nursing career. – Stephanie Hollingworth, Accelerated BSN student
Are you looking for a program that focuses on holistic patient care? Are you interested in cultivating good clinical connections? Are you passionate about serving others and your community? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself as you look for a nursing school that fits your mission.
If you answered yes to any of them, Concordia University-Portland’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program may be a fit for your needs.
Concordia’s ABSN program strives to help students achieve their nursing career goals through holistic care, good clinical connections, and servant leadership.
Holistic Care Approach
What differentiates nurses today? Concordia University believes it’s how they care for their patients. Monitoring a patient’s well-being is one thing, but noticing external factors such as, their mood, their reaction to the medicine and the surrounding environment, their healing process, and their communicative skills is what separates a good nurse from a great nurse.
That’s why Concordia University incorporates a holistic care approach into their accredited ABSN curriculum. Through this approach, accelerated BSN students learn much more than highly competent nursing skills, they learn how to care for the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
“We want to graduate beginning nurses who are clinically competent but also capable of deep reflective compassion,” says Dr. Donna Bachand, Director of the Nursing Program. “That human connection piece is very important to us.”
Accelerated BSN students achieve this sense of deep reflective compassion through the teachings and philosophies of Martin Luther. These teachings add a spiritual element to patient care. While learning core nursing concepts, students will be encouraged to ask tough questions and adapt to rigorous patient care situations.
Our ABSN program is made up of three main components:
1. Online courses teach the building blocks and concepts of the occupation through a user-friendly e-Learning platform.
2. Nursing skills and simulation labs teach you how to apply the nursing concepts you’ve learned online in a safe, risk-free clinical setting.
3. Clinical Rotations at distinguished health care facilities in the Portland area grant you real-world nursing experience in many different areas of specialty, which we’ll touch on later.
Faculty Support from Beginning to End
Accelerated BSN students are educated in an environment that supports teamwork and professional respect. “Our faculty are nurses, they are people who have been in this field, they are not just career educators,” says Bobi Swan, VP of Enrollment. “That is important to our core – our professors teaching here have been practitioners. So there’s just an ethos of the practitioner teaching their future colleague.”
Throughout your nursing school journey, there is no room for ego. Your professors encourage you to ask for help if you are not understanding something, and expect you to ask questions and engage in dialogue. In fact, this is how they are used to teaching. “If a student has an opinion or a thought that the professor would disagree with, our professors are really expecting that student to prove themselves,” says Bobi. Most importantly, questions spark discussion.
Through discussion and hard work, you’ll gain the knowledge and information needed to prepare you to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN®) and become an RN. “We really believe in walking alongside students,” says Dr. Bachand. “We support them throughout their academic endeavor; we are a relational faculty so we get to know those students very well, and we’re available to help provide any support that the student needs.”
Good Clinical Connections
The connections you make during in-hospital clinical rotations are essential to your success as a nurse. That’s why Concordia University partners with some of the best healthcare institutions in the Portland, Oregon area – to give students the chance to receive real-world, patient-care experiences and face-to-face exposure with notable nurses, doctors, and nurse recruiters. “Knowing that Concordia University had good clinical partners and good clinical sites and those relationships already set up was critical,” says Stephanie. “A big part of nursing school is being able to have those experiences and be prepared.”
Clinical rotations at Concordia differ from other nursing schools because ABSN students have the chance to perform hands-on nursing skills within more than one specialty setting. For example, if it’s your nursing career goal to work in pediatrics, then clinical rotations at Concordia can grant you hands-on experience in various types of pediatric settings, including:
- Surgical centers
- Doctor’s offices
This provides you with an overall feel for what the specialty has to offer. “Our students come to their first clinical ready and willing to practice,” says Dr. Bachand. “They’re humble, caring, and hardworking.”
In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf, founder of the modern Servant Leadership movement and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, defined the servant leader as follows: “The servant leader is a servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”
This statement resonates with the entire community at Concordia University. As soon as ABSN students begin their nursing education, they are expected to display acts of servant leadership on a daily basis.
“We’re a Christian university preparing leaders for the transformation of society,” says Bobi. To become transformational leaders of society, accelerated nursing students are exposed to principals of leadership throughout the curriculum – both inside and outside of the classroom. These acts of leadership may include volunteering for the American Red Cross during blood drives or simply doing what’s right for their patient during clinical rotations.
Our expectation for the student is no matter where they’re at, that they would be transformative in their leadership and that leadership may mean as a nurse doing the right thing for a patient.
– Bobi Swan, Vice President of Enrollment and Financial Aid
After graduating from Concordia’s ABSN program, students will continue to have the confidence to engage in leadership both within healthcare institutions and in Portland’s vast community. This is what separates Concordia ABSN nursing graduates from the rest and causes nurse recruiters to take notice.
Take Action on Your Nursing Career Goals
If your nursing career goals align with what Concordia University’s Accelerated BSN program has to offer, now is the time to take your first step.
If you’re ready to pursue a nursing degree that stands out with healthcare employers, contact Concordia’s admissions team to learn more about how you can earn your BSN in as few as 16 months.