All around campus students wearing green scrubs can be seen walking to and from Oklahoma Baptist University’s nursing building: Stavros Hall. OBU is proud of its nursing program. According to the university’s website, OBU is the title holder for the first approved nursing program in the state of Oklahoma. The school’s website also accredits OBU’s nursing program as a wonderful tool for equipping nurses to serve to the best of their ability in their field and also as a part of the kingdom of God.
According to the university’s website, “Our baccalaureate degree prepares you to practice as a registered nurse in any state in the U.S. We are a program known for producing quality nurses. Faculty teach students not only about the art and science of nursing, but also how to incorporate a Christian worldview into their work. OBU nursing graduates truly learn how to love and serve their patients as Christ would have them serve. We see nursing as a ministry and a calling,”
OBU also shares success stories from its nursing program on the university website.
According to the school’s website, “Our graduates have acquired prominent, well-respected positions throughout the U.S. and around the world,”
Oklahoma Baptist University’s nursing program offers a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing with an emphasis in licensed practical nursing and a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing with an emphasis in registered nursing. All Nursing Schools website shares some general differences between the roles of nurses with a LPN emphasis degree and nurses with an RN emphasis degree.
According to All Nursing Schools Website, “LPNs usually provide more basic nursing care and are responsible for the comfort of the patient. RNs on the other hand, primarily administer medication, treatments and offer educational advice to patients and the public,”
With OBU offering a variety degree tracks under the school of nursing, one might wonder what the course load in a typical week as a nursing student might look like. Senior nursing major Katelyn Cruz, shares her what she experiences during a typical week while studying under the nursing school’s Registered Nurse program.
“A typical week as a second semester senior looks like two lecture classes that are each three hours long a week. Then I have a two and half hour Simulation Lab one day a week that goes along with the two main lecture courses and clinical that also go along with our two major classes as we well,” Cruz said.
Cruz also shares details of what simulation or SIM labs entail and how she learns valuable information in them that she can take one day into the workforce.
“In SIM lab my classmates and I use a highly tech mannequin that our professors can control behind the window to make it act a certain way and respond to our clinical judgment. This is a great learning experience because I get to be the nurse in the situation and get to practice development on my own practice based on the scenario at hand. After each SIM, my fellow classmates and professors debrief in a whole group to talk about things we could have done better and things we did good. It helps me to step back and think about my decisions I make in high pressure situations,” Cruz said.
Cruz also shares how through studying under OBU’s college of nursing she gets real-life experience through the process called clinical.
“Clinical is when I am able to go to the hospital and shadow a nurse for the whole day in the specific unit we are assigned. I get to practice patient care under the supervision of my nurse and my professors. For each clinical I prepare the day before and then the day after I complete paperwork which helps me practice documentation and debriefing. Clinical help me get an idea of what my future career looks like and feels like,” Cruz said.
Cruz gives input on how the work she is doing outside of the classroom through clinical and simulation lab, ultimately ties back into her lecture classes as well.
“Each week I go into the hospital for ten to twelve hours based on the lecture class. For example, this semester my two main lecture classes are Complex and Management. For Complex clinical, we go into the Intensive Care Unit for twelve hours and learn how to apply what we learn in class in the field. I do the same thing for Management Clinical but instead of being in the ICU, my specific focus for this course is to learn how to manage a unit. This is the same procedure for when I participate in SIM lab. I am able to take what I learn in my two main lecture classes along with what I learn as I shadow nurses in clinical and I get to practice being the nurse in a safe environment,” Cruz said.
Something that is unique for Cruz, is her senior capstone class that she is taking this semester; and even though that is one more course on what seems to be an already full course load for Cruz, the class is definitely something that will help her even after she graduates.
“As a senior nursing major, I also take an hour long capstone class that helps me reflect on what I have learned in my four years at OBU. The focus of the class is to connect what I have learned and build on how I will apply that to my own personal practice of nursing once I graduate,” Cruz said.
It seems being a nursing student here at OBU is no easy task, but a fellow senior nursing major Kera Kottmyer, shares that even though being a nursing major is hard work it is still rewarding.
“As a senior nursing major it’s stressful going through classes because of our heavy workload but it is definitely rewarding. The program has classes that compliment each other and push me in my learning. The professors also care about me not just as a nursing student, but they care about every other aspect of my life as well. They want me to succeed in the classroom and in my everyday life. All of my classes including my capstone class and labs push me to be the best nurse that I can be once I graduate,” Kottmyer said.
Senior nursing major Katelyn Cruz, shares similar sentiments as Kottmyer in that, despite the difficulties that being a nursing major can bring, she feels that while studying this particular degree she is living a full life as well as fulfilling her calling from God.
“The life of a nursing major is a full one. It is filled with so much joy, love and heartbreak at times. But most of all it is filled with the passion that the Lord has called me to take care of people when they are at their most vulnerable,” Cruz said.