Ten years ago the University admitted its first class in the newly established nursing program under Dr. Judith Stocks, department chair. Since then the department has grown to be the University’s largest major and on Saturday graduated the 219th nursing professional from its accredited program. The traditional “Pinning Ceremony” and reception took place Friday, May 7.
As of July 1, 2009, the department of nursing became part of President David Alexander’s initiative of excellence in education when the School of Nursing and Health Sciences was established under the leadership of Dr. Pat Kissell, dean. In addition, the department now offers a master’s of science in nursing. The department of nursing moved into the recently completed 50,000-sq-foot Thomas Family Health and Science Center with its state-of-the-art classrooms and nursing skills labs as well as the newest “faculty member,” SimMan, which is a human-like learning apparatus that provides the students with real-life patient care scenarios provided by a grant from the Harry W. Morrison Foundation. This past spring, Senators Crapo and Risch secured $200,000 for NNU’s nursing education equipment from the Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Cooperating clinical sites available for NNU’s students are Mercy Medical Center, West Valley Medical Center, St. Luke’s (downtown and Meridian), St Alphonsus, Boise Veteran’s Administration and Intermountain Hospital. Several students have also had learning opportunities by participating in trips to Ukraine, Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica. NNU’s highly trained nursing graduates are sought after by area health-care establishments.
President David Alexander was the featured speaker at the 10 a.m. baccalaureate service, and the highest elected official of the Church of the Nazarene, General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Porter, was the guest speaker for the 3 p.m. commencement ceremony—a combination of academic pageantry, conferral of degrees and the acknowledgment of significant life goals having been achieved. NNU graduated 298 undergraduate students with a 3.395 average G.P.A., and 209 students with graduate degrees, with a 3.743 average G.P.A.