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LeTourneau University kicks off nursing program

By Bridget Ortigo
Sept. 2, 2014 at 10 p.m.

LeTourneau University junior Joy Omasere has dreamed of becoming a nurse while also furthering the Christian ministry.

As part of the university's first year of the nursing degree program, Omasere is now seeing her dream realized.

"I transferred here just for the new nursing program," Omasere said Tuesday. "This fits my goal of caring for people while incorporating the Christian message."

The university is in its second week of the new nursing program after being approved in July by the Texas Board of Nursing to begin offering a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

LeTourneau renovated its former student center to house the nursing program earlier this year.

"We've got three labs for classroom instruction and hands-on skill instruction," Assistant Professor of Nursing Kristina Ibitayo said. "Lab 3 includes an exam room, and we also have an instruction room and offices upstairs."

The classrooms house about 60 students who are participating in the school's first-year nursing degree program.

"We currently have six adult mid-fidelity mannequins or simulators," Assistant Professor of Nursing Jennifer Bray said. "We also have two children and two baby simulators."

Dean of Nursing Kimberly Quiett said each lab space is designed to give the student a different hands-on experience.

"We have a space with curtains in between the beds to imitate an intensive care unit set up," Quiett said. "We also have intravenous arms, a CPR simulator and a Chester Chest, which will give the students hands-on experience with a central line.

"We try to create the labs with different set ups like pediatrics, geriatrics and courses focused on critical care, which are all included in the bachelor of science nursing degree," she said.

Junior nursing student Hannah Campbell came to the university as a freshman, hoping a nursing program would be created.

"I'm so excited. This is something I've been hoping and praying for since I came to LeTourneau, and God has opened the door," Campbell said.

"We are going to have some great opportunities here at LeTourneau through this program."

The students went out into the "field" this past week to conduct a hand sanitizing survey. The students said they were surprised to find most of their peers eating lunch at the university's two restaurants did not sanitize their hands before eating.

"We'll take that research and apply it in the classroom on a later project," Ibitayo said. "We also have upcoming projects scheduled in the community for the students to get hands-on experience."

The students plan to check vital signs at a local grocer and assess elderly residents at an assisted living facility.

"We want to give the students opportunities to use concepts that reinforce what they're learning in the classroom," Quiett said.



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