The local medical community recognizes the excellence of UE nursing graduates, and many local hospitals and agencies offer UE graduates sign-on bonuses. The Dunigan Family Department of Nursing and Health Services has had 100 percent of its students find employment after graduation. The NCLEX-RN pass rate for the class graduating in May 2012 was 100 percent.
Class of 2008
Lauren was a student-athlete at UE, challenged with balancing the rigors of her academic studies with the intense schedule of ACES D-1 softball. She credits both the coaching staff and nursing faculty members with their individual approaches in assisting her to not only succeed, but also excel in both areas. "My professors always had time to meet outside of class when I needed help catching up on an assignment due to my time away related to softball travel." Clearly Lauren's love for helping people and her desire to become a nurse were nurtured by the personal relationship she felt with her nursing professors. "I wasn't just a number lost in the crowd. My experience was certainly unique, and I wouldn't trade it for the world."
The wide variety of clinical experiences combined with the state-of-the-art technology in the campus nursing lab gave Lauren familiarity with multiple areas of nursing practice. "I was fortunate to spend the fall semester of my senior year at Harlaxton College, experiencing firsthand how national health care works in England. My clinicals included the Queen's Medical Center and home-health visits in the Grantham community." Well before graduation, while still at Harlaxton, Lauren actually interviewed and secured her current position of employment in the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Indiana. "I now take care of patients who have a variety of medical issues that include heart attacks, kidney failure and respiratory failure, drug overdoses, and many others that affect the body's cardiovascular system. I am extremely happy working at the patient's bedside and enjoy the adrenaline of the ICU!"
Lauren has been working at Deaconess for four years. In 2010, she was nominated by her peers and received the Deaconess "Nurse of the Year for Clinical Excellence" award.
Sheli Ledbetter began her career at UE as a biology major but switched to pursue a nursing degree. Her choice opened the door to unforgettable experiences. One of her clinical experiences was an OB/GYN rotation where she stayed on the delivery floor for 12 hours to witness an entire birth. “I had the opportunity to hold the mom’s hand, help her breathe and count to 10,” she said. “It was simply awesome to see that little guy be born!”
When she studied at Harlaxton College, UE’s British campus in Grantham, England, Sheli was able to work in British hospitals and witness the differences in nursing practice between the two countries.
Sheli was pushed hard and challenged in the classroom but never lacked support. “The school is small enough that you know your professors very well and you build a relationship with them,” she said. Her professors were always available to offer encouragement whenever she needed. “The program is rough, rigorous, and at times, may make you want to quit,” she said. “But if you stick with it, the long-term rewards and future opportunities are far greater than anything you can imagine.”
According to Sheli, UE’s undergraduate curriculum provided a foundation for dealing with the stresses of her burgeoning career. “Much of what we nurses learn is based on our work experience, but UE did a phenomenal job at preparing us for the real-world,” she said. Sheli’s first job was in a cardiac intensive care unit. “Dr. Amy Hall’s critical care class prepared me to work in such an intense environment,” she said. An additional class, Dynamic Integration: Health Promotion within the Community, forced her to think critically and developed her writing skills. “The class was very challenging, but I would do it all over again if I had to because it made me a much better writer and student,” she said. “Had I not received such individualized teaching and support, I would never have been able to survive graduate school.”
Sheli is currently enrolled in Arizona State University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program and expects to graduate in May 2013 with a dual specialty of an adult and geriatric nurse practitioner. She has also been selected for a prestigious internship in Washington, DC, working in the National Institutes of Health or the World Health Organization to develop ways to decrease the rate of chronic illnesses in the US and identify at-risk patients. She hopes this effort will lead to an increase in preventative medicine and education.
AfterCollege, the leading employment website for nursing/allied health care students, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) have partnered to offer this new scholarship program for students pursuing professional nursing education programs. This scholarship program supports students who are seeking a baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degree in nursing.
AfterCollege is a free job, internship and scholarship resource that connects University of Evansville Department of Nursing & Health Sciences students and recent graduates with entry-level nursing opportunities.
Nurse Without Borders
Nurse Without Borders offers career descriptions, expert interviews, and licensing and degree path information for anyone who is interested in pursuing nursing as a career.