Hospitals prefer Calvin nursing grads

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the nursing program has been re-accredited when in fact the program is still in the midst of a re-accreditation process. The story has been updated to reflect this information.


The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is considering Calvin’s nursing program for re-accreditation, and stated that hospitals prefer to hire Calvin graduates, according to Provost Cheryl Brandsen in the October 15 Faculty Senate meeting. As of 2017, 100 percent of Calvin nursing graduates were employed or in graduate school one year after graduation.

The CCNE, a national accreditation agency, visited Calvin October 1–3. Calvin’s nursing program has small class sizes (64 seats in the program) and Christian professors. Both the students and faculty emphasize the importance of community and aim to improve public health. The program’s activities and learning are in line with Calvin’s mission — looking out for the well-being of our neighbors.

The CCNE, officially recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, ensures the integrity and the quality of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.

According to Adejoke Ayoola, an associate professor in the nursing department, the program challenges its students and professors to work hard to maintain the standard and expectations of the program. Ayoola emphasized that the department is very particular about its standards and expectations. To achieve their goals, they review the curriculum to make sure it is updated and equipped with educators who are well prepared and qualified to provide a rich learning environment that integrates faith with academics.

The program cultivates hard work in students through providing practical work in the communities and conducting clinicals in hospitals. According to Hannah Whyte, a senior in the nursing program, Calvin puts a great emphasis on community, and students are trained to be compassionate and knowledgeable about helping their neighbors. In their first year, students focus on mental and community health as they participate in outreach to draw blood pressure and encourage people to maintain their health.

Students also get a chance to participate in other community-based activities, like the Summer Health Camp for children coordinated by Ayoola on Calvin’s campus.

In their second year in the program, students gain hospital experience through clinicals. Nursing students do clinicals at St. Mary’s, Metro Health and Spectrum Health, the latter of which is among the best medical specialities in Nationally ranked by the US News and World Report as of 2016-17. Students interact with patients in hospitals during this period, which prepares them for work in hospital settings after they graduate.

Whyte expressed, “Calvin’s nursing program is organized, and this helps nursing students to know their role and what is expected of them. Students don’t have to spend time trying to guess what we need to do — we can concentrate on learning and doing it.”