Monday, September 15, 2014

Incredible Care: LeTourneau University Opens School of Nursing

In 1942, on the land we now know as LeTourneau University's residential campus in Longview, Texas, Harmon Army General Hospital opened to provide care for wounded WWII veterans.

This heritage of compassionate healthcare continues this fall as the 2014-2015 academic year begins, with the inception of LETU's School of Nursing.

Heading up the program is Dr. Kimberly Quiett, Dean of the School of Nursing, who has 24 years of nursing experience, 13 of which in nursing education. She explains why LETU's program is unique: 

"The fact that we are integrating faith in our curriculum sets us apart," she said. "We also have small class sizes. Our nursing student to faculty ratio is 5:1. That's opposed to other nursing schools that often involve class sizes of 100 or more."

This ratio makes a significant difference when a student's career goal involves public health. It's widely known that smaller classes provide superior learning environments

Jennifer Bray, R.N. instructs in LETU's new nursing lab.
"I am very excited about the nursing program here at LeTourneau," said junior nursing student Hannah Campbell, of Ben Wheeler, Texas.

"The faculty are fantastic," she said. "They each bring a unique background and personality to our classes and help us master the material and learn to apply it from various perspectives. LeTourneau University's nursing program is truly preparing us to be skilled and competent in our field no matter where nursing may take us."

With an entire building devoted to their program, the school's brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities provide ample opportunity for hands-on learning. Equipment includes six adult, two children, and two infant mid-fidelity simulators, intravenous arms, a CPR simulator, a Chester Chest, and a lab set up to imitate an intensive care unit.

The practical learning doesn't stop there. Clinical training is an integral part of the Nursing School experience. LETU's nursing program has over 20 clinical affiliation practices in the East Texas area in a variety of settings, including acute care, assisted living, chronic children's care, and community and acute care psychiatric facilities. 

Not only that, but faculty member Jennifer Bray's experience includes seven years an an R.N. at Good Shepherd Medical Center, where she placed nursing students for clinical training.

"She really understands what students need in the clinical setting," Quiett said. 

Students benefit from hands-on learning
and small class sizes.
Nursing is an extremely unique profession; it's meaningful, as well as in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19% over the next decade. As the baby-boomer generation heads into retirement, now, more than ever, nurses are needed and being hired across the country. 

"There's an ongoing nursing shortage in the U.S.," Quiett said. "Bottom line - nurses get jobs." 

"Nurses are especially sought-after by mission organizations, especially to work internationally," she added. "This is the career goal of several of our freshmen students."

They'll begin to realize their dreams in May when a group of nursing students will travel with Buckner International to serve in Guatemala. 

Sixty-eight years have passed since nurses roamed the halls of Harmon Army General Hospital, now LeTourneau University. No doubt; within only a few years, a growing number of LETU nurses will continue to make a difference domestically and across the globe, carrying with them both the knowledge and heart that characterize LeTourneau graduates. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Incredible Beginnings

It's the first week of the 2014-2015 academic year, and we took a moment to get the perspective of students, faculty, and staff on how they feel to be back in the swing of the semester, what they missed over the summer, and what they hope this year brings. 

It's the beginning of the end for Kate Hendrix (left) and Katie Carvalho, both mechanical engineering majors. "I've liked the time that I've had here and enjoyed the people I've met over the past few years," Kate said. 
"I'm excited to be on the home stretch but I want to make it last as long as I can. I realized this summer what a great place this is and how much I'm going to miss my friends," Katie said.

“As a staff member of LeTourneau University I am always happy to see students returning after being away all summer. Campus becomes alive again, and there are all sorts of activities going on. I love hearing conversations that students are having about their classes, about dorm activities, and even about something exciting they are learning on their spiritual journey. The start of a new school year definitely comes with craziness, and packed schedules, but feeling the hopeful energy pulsing around campus at this time is always an encouragement.”  - Grant Bridgman, Enrollment Officer

"It's good to be back. I'm energized by students." - Dr. Judy Taylor, professor of mathematics. 

"I'm excited to share with students the opportunities where they can take the kingdom of God with them and be the mission of LETU; literally every workplace, every nation." - Amanda Beck, Study Abroad Coordinator

Ryan Gadberry, who just transferred in as a junior, said "I only have three semesters here, but I love that I'm getting all the benefits of an excellent academic experience." (Ryan claims he's not photogenic enough for a photo of his face, but he did let us get a shot of him typing.

Kyle Jacobs, sophomore mechanical engineering major: "I'm glad to be back. It's great to see all my friends again. I also play baseball and it's good to get back into athletics and see my teammates."

"We start our athletic season on Friday - men's and women's soccer. It's a home game against Centenary. There will be free hot dogs!" - Terri Deike, Athletics Director

Sophomore Sarah Snyder, English language and literature major said of returning to LETU, "It's good. It's been a leap into the unknown for me. I just changed my major because, basically, I had a conversation with Jesus and I feel I need to be able to use my degree in a foreign country." 

"The thing I'm most excited about is to share Christ with and speak into the lives of international students, because it gives me the opportunity to interact with people groups I never would otherwise. That's what makes the difference for me teaching at a Christian university." Dr. Ken Rouse, professor of computer science. 

Senior political science major Kaylee Pritchett is looking forward: "I'm using this year to set my plans for the future. I'm planning on going to law school." 

Welcome home, LETU community! Needless to say, we're thrilled school's back in session.