Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University will graduate 38 nursing seniors early on November 14, which will help with community needs and the nursing staff shortage in the hospitals.
Dean of Nursing Amy Hall said that when the fall semester was being planned, they anticipated that there would be another spike in COVID-19, so the students started taking their clinical courses early and completed all their clinical hours by Labor Day. Since the students started early, they were done early with their coursework.
"Because of their experience in the spring, I think they were eager to get started with their clinical experiences early. They wanted to be able to graduate on time," Hall continued. "They are excited about it - in fact, they are the impetus for it - they came to us asking if they could graduate early and agreed to have their didactic courses taught in a compressed amount of time so they could finish early."
Hall spoke about her excitement for the graduating seniors. "This is such a monumental time in their lives. They are leaving FranU well-prepared to care for their patients and I can't wait to see what they accomplish in the future."
Early graduate Lindsey Fruge said that FranU has prepared her not only academically but also emotionally and spiritually. "FranU's staff leads by example and always puts their student's needs first. Numerous times I emailed a professor at midnight or four in the morning while studying and I always received a timely response. This level of attentiveness from the professors not only made me feel encouraged and motivated but supported."
Fruge also stated that FranU's nursing curriculum stands out in their clinical training. "FranU requires for graduation that each student spend 144 hours in the clinical setting working alongside a registered nurse. It is truly the precepting hours in the last semester that the academic portion and skills portion of the curriculum come together, and critical thinking is developed."
Madison Hurst will also be graduating on Saturday and said that what she is looking forward to the most is making a difference and serving her community. "I am excited for the chance to make a difference in people's lives, but I know many of my patients will make a difference in my own life. I am thankful to have chosen a career that will provide me with opportunities for lifelong learning and growth. Becoming a nurse is tough, but I know it will be so rewarding and all of our hard work will be worth it!"
Another early graduate Peyton Durning stated that she is eager to help with the nursing shortage. "The nursing shortage has been a growing issue in our profession and is rapidly intensifying. I am ready to join my fellow colleges and attempt to combat the nursing shortage to provide a higher quality of patient care."
All three graduates have jobs lined up after graduation and are ready to join the workforce.
"I will be working in the Neuro Critical Care Unit also known as NCCU at Our Lady of the Regional Medical Center. I am happy to continue the learning process and grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside such compassionate and experienced nurses," Fruge concluded.