By Ashlynn Worley
Nurses see patients at their worst and help them to feel their best.
Students earning their Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Quincy University met in the lounge at North Campus for a “lunch and learn.”
Future nurses gathered in a crowded room, some standing shoulder-to-shoulder while others sat on the floor, all waiting for the special guest speaker. This event explored a wide variety of career options in the nursing profession.
One first-year nursing student strives to pass her boards and one day be able to treat certain medical conditions without the direct supervision of a doctor.
“After getting my licensure I want to practice bedside like in an outpatient facility or possibly a hospital for at least four to five years, and then explore getting my nurse practitioner license,” Brittney Thrower said.
QU’s nursing program partners with Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing (BRCN) to give students hands-on, practical learning experience in a hospital setting. With this training, nursing students get a glimpse of what their future careers can be.
When students hear an account of someone else’s journey, it can be an inspiration and motivation.
Wayland Mutter, the guest speaker, started in the same place as QU students. He graduated from BRCN with his bachelor’s and master’s degree. Mutter went on to receive his post-master’s degree in adult gerontology acute care.
For the last 18 years, Mutter has worked in an intensive care unit and said he cannot imagine doing anything else. He began working for Quincy Medical Group in February 2018.
QU has a nursing learning community committee that organizes opportunities like this event. Kristen Liesen, a committee member, specializes in the career component.
“We [committee] can have students meet professionals and ask their questions. Most of the time this is designated for all students but this was really focused on the learning community and those are freshman level,” Liesen said.
Another nursing student currently working in Blessing Hospital wants to continue her career there after graduation.
“I want to stay at the hospital and work on the oncology floor,” Ashley Bickhaus said.
“With the clinicals we are working right on the Blessing Hospital floor working with the RN’s and CNA’s so we are at an advantage learning their computer systems, policies, and missions. It gives you a little advantage over someone who wouldn’t be able to practice right there in the school’s facility,” Thrower said.
QU also offers nursing living communities on QU’s campus. Garner Hall is a first-year living community as well as on-campus housing for upperclassmen.