Middle Tennessee State University is determined to provide its students with the highest quality education possible to prepare them for the professional world.
The Nursing program at MTSU is dedicated to making students who care about the health and well-being of the people in their community into the healthcare professionals the world will need in the future. Dr. Jenny Sauls, Director of the MTSU School of Nursing, said in an introduction video for the program that their majorly doctoral faculty is fully equipped to instruct students “to meet the health care needs of our citizens and to shape the future of healthcare in general,” and says that students receive plenty of educational opportunities in and out of the classroom.
“During the program, students spend approximately 200 hours in our state-of-the-art clinical simulation labs, as well as more than 500 hours with our community partners across Middle Tennessee providing hands-on care for the citizens of our state,” Sauls explained.
The Nursing program at MTSU has clearly grown and changed since its founding and its students experience their own growth alongside it. When it was founded in 1966, the program was a two-year associate’s degree. The Cason-Kennedy Nursing building is the main hall for nursing and pre-nursing students and home to six clinical labs including, a realistic clinical and labor simulation lab, all to ensure that nursing students receive a well-rounded medical education.
Even with all these resources, the road to becoming a healthcare professional can come with many challenges both within the course and in daily life, and nursing students know first-hand how both difficult and fulfilling it can be to learn how to save lives. Luckily for students, the faculty for the Nursing program is dedicated to preparing future nurses for the reality of the medical world and creating many exercises and simulations to help students apply their classroom learning to more complex clinical practices. According to Sauls, they believe that “integrating simulation experiences as a learning strategy throughout the curriculum provides students with interactive, practice-space instruction that will help to bridge the gap from theory to practice.”
Maintaining a healthy school-work-home-life balance can be challenging when there’s so much to learn and lives at stake. A senior nursing student, Starr Ochoa, has good advice for those who struggle with this after spending five years in MTSU’s nursing program. She says that it’s important to make time for hobbies and interests, take breaks from schoolwork, and that “self-care is productive.”
“It has taken some time, and I am still learning, but you have to give yourself time for self-care and doing things other than schoolwork,” Ochoa says, “School is hard and it requires a lot of commitment, but it is rewarding.”
More than just instruction, the program’s teaching staff has proved that they care about the students as individuals, and they want to see them succeed. Ochoa says that the staff are intent on students realizing the gravity of committing to the program, and to “stay resilient and prove them wrong.” Another nursing student, Fatima Sheriff, found out she was pregnant while in the program and might have dropped out if not for the aid and understanding of her professors.
“They worked with me to complete my clinical at the beginning of my fifth semester. Their willingness to work with me has helped me get closer to my dream. I will say that I’m very grateful that I chose MTSU and happy to be part of MTSU’s family,” Sheriff says.
For those wondering, if MTSU’s Nursing program is for them, Nursing students have plenty of advice for prospective applicants to help them succeed. The program may be difficult, but hard work will produce amazing results. Students should surround themselves with friends who are motivated to do well, but Ochoa says to have a friend “who can get you out of school mode and into living life mode.”
MTSU’s campus is a place designed to help people persevere, and their nursing students and faculty are some of the most determined on campus. The nursing program isn’t just making students into nurses, they’re building young people into the leaders and the future of medicine through tireless effort and service to the Murfreesboro community and beyond.
If you are interested in MTSU’s Nursing program, click here.
Author Kylie Wellington is a junior at MTSU majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Theatre and Mass Communication. The views and opinions expressed above are her own.
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