By Chesney Monroe
Union University’s School of Nursing has been ranked 40th in the nation for its online graduate program for 2013, according to the Jan. 14 issue of “U.S. World News & World Report.”
Throughout the years, Union’s nursing program has grown exponentially and is continuing to grow.
Tim Smith, dean of the School of Nursing, said he feels the school has worked hard, and it is paying off.
“We push our students,” Smith said. “To graduate from this program, no matter what their grades are, a student must make a 95 percent prediction rate to pass boards.”
The graduate program is taught partially online and through in-class lecture.
Rankings were based on Union’s Master of Science in Nursing graduate program, which includes nursing administration and nursing education.
Zachary Floyd, senior business administration major, said he plans on enrolling in the graduate program this summer after he graduates in May.
Floyd has been working at Regional Hospital of Jackson as an emergency department technician for the past three years.
“I love helping people,” Floyd said. “I realized my passion is working in a hospital helping people get better. I have the opportunity to make an impact on patients, and I plan on doing that.”
The nursing graduate program also sends 60 to 80 students on mission trips every year.
Union’s nursing program is one of three in the state that has a 100 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination exam.
Whitney Kramer, senior nursing student, said her professors encourage and push her beyond what she thought she could do.
“I came to Union as a pre-med student,” Kramer said. “I didn’t switch to nursing until one of my professors pointed out my strengths and weaknesses and said I would do well as a nurse.
“Ever since then, I have been prepared by my professors by taking (Assessment Technologies Institute) exams, and I feel confident that when it comes time to take the NCLEX, I’ll be ready.”
Smith said he feels the main differences between Union’s nursing program and programs at other schools are relationships and the content of taught materials.
“Our faculty has close relationships with students,” Smith said. “They really try and get to know students and help them along through each step. If a student needs help, we want to be there to help and explain everything. We also strive to incorporate the message of Christ as the great physician through all of our teaching methods and lectures.”
He said the incorporation of Christ in nursing school is important to him as well as Union.
He also said the students have opportunities to share the message of Christ every day through their work and through the relationships they build with other student workers, nurses and patients.