College graduates looking for a career change are discovering new opportunities
in health care through a program at Pacific Lutheran University.
The entry-level master of science
in nursing program will enroll its first class in June. By the end of
the following summer, successful students will be able to take the RN licensing
examination while completing coursework for a masters degree. The
full program takes 36 months.
"Ive always loved science and been interested in a career in
nursing," said Maria Pecchia, who graduated from PLU in 1999 with a
double major in biology and history. "This program is the only one
that will allow me to become an RN after 15 months and get back into the
work force while I complete my masters degree. I could never afford
to spend the three more years in school that similar programs require."
Applicants must hold a baccalaureate or higher degree in any field and
have completed courses in statistics, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology,
and developmental psychology.
The first 15 months is a period of intense, full-time coursework and clinical
training in preparation for the national exam for a registered nurses
After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, students enter the 21-month advanced practice
portion of the program. These graduate-level classes are offered one day
and one evening each week enabling students to also work part-time as registered
Mize estimates that an entry level RN can work half-time and earn $20,000
a year. "There are many job openings, with real job security and the
opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others," Mize said.
"In addition, with a masters degree and a few years of experience
as an RN, graduates of the program will be well-positioned to fill a teaching
position in many of the nations nursing schools where there is a critical
shortage of instructors," she said.
Nurses holding a masters degree are also often well qualified to
move into leadership and management positions in nursing, Mize said.
Thousands of miles from home in Olso, Norway, Gerd Melsaeter is sharing
her knowledge with PLU students while extending the universitys good
reputation throughout the Scandinavian community.
Melsaeter, a visiting professor of nursing, came to PLU in the fall of
2001 as part of a sabbatical she earned as dean of the four campuses of
the Oslo nursing program. Her experience was so powerful that she continued
her work in the 2002-03 academic year.
She focuses on research and working with students in their practicums as
well as writing stories for Norwegian magazines and newspapers on the differences
in educating in the health care field.
"The people here are good people," she says. "The university
is not so big. They can integrate more of the theory and practice."
The day after Jimmy Carter received
the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, Melsaeter spoke lovingly of the award
given in her hometown and of a vision of bringing peace through education.
"The university and educational system can do so much more for peace
in the world." Melsaeter says. "We must learn more about other
She says students should understand the experience of being a foreigner
in order to sympathize with others in a similar situation, and to empathize
with those from other cultures.
Hands-on practice is a key element that Melsaeter has seen at PLU. She
believes that the personal connections students make with one another, professors
and especially patients, set the PLU nursing school apart from the programs
she has participated in Norway. The global traveling professor, who has
studied Asian and European programs, hopes to create a program that allows
students and professors to live and study in a series of countries with
diverse cultures and methods. She sees opportunities to incorporate many
of the strengths of the PLU nursing program on international levels.
Terry Miller, dean of the School of Nursing, said having Melsaeter at PLU
has been a great experience both in the educational and cultural
"I think Gerd and other Norwegians offer a perspective on nationalized
health care," he said. "Its just been a great cultural exchange.
And shes just a wonderful person."
By Noreen Hobson 99
Lovelace, distinguished writer-in-residence, was awarded an honorary
doctorate of letters by the University of the West Indies, Trinidad/Tobago
last fall. Lovelace traveled to speak at the event at which he was honored.
Several newspaper stories were done about his accomplishments.
E. Wayne Carp, professor of history, was featured in the Oct. 28 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education for his work in the field of adoption. He is considered a leading expert and has published many books on the topic. The article "Adoption Studies Hits the Humanities, With Surprises in Store," by Jennifer K. Ruark, highlighted books by him and others.
Maxine Herbert-Hill, director of Cooperative Education-Academic Internships, was named president-elect for the Northwest Career Educators and Employers Association. She will be president in 2004-05. Members include co-op, internship and career center personnel from community colleges and universities and employers from around the region.
After 38 years of service to PLU, Gary Minetti 67, Ph.D.,
will retire as director of Counseling and Testing
this summer. He joined the PLU Counseling Center staff in 1965, served as
director since 1975, and received his license as a clinical psychologist
in 1978. His dedication to the well-being of PLU students has been exemplified
throughout his years. In addition, he has taught in the psychology department
and is an associate professor in the School of Education.
Patricia Kirkwood, assistant professor and reference librarian, published, "How to Find Materials Properties Data," in "Handbook of Materials Selection." Following an overview of the logical steps helpful in resolving information needs, Kirkwood details the processes and sources best employed for finding data on materials properties.