If anyone can talk about the value of a Xavier nursing degree, it’s Marie Leist-Smith, PhD. After earning her BSN from our university in 2002, she has gone on to achieve impressive recognition in the field, from being named one of Cincinnati’s Great Leaders Under 40 to receiving the National Quality Improvement Award at the National Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Conference.
Today, Marie is the Regional Director of Nursing Practice and Research at Mercy Health Cincinnati, one of our university’s clinical partners. When we launched our Accelerated BSN program in 2016, she was one of our biggest program advocates. We invited her to speak at our ABSN Learning Center open house, where she made some powerful statements on what it means to be a Xavier nurse.
During her open house speech, Marie mentioned she never thought about becoming a nurse until she met the faculty at Xavier. She touted our nursing program as being known for producing true leaders at the bedside.
“Xavier nurses are unique because they are taught to be empowered at the bedside to provide the best patient care possible. They know how to advocate for their patients and how to articulate that in interdisciplinary situations,” she said.
Marie commented that Mercy Health was elated when we developed an accelerated version of our BSN program and sought clinical placements within its facilities. “We know the rigor, innovation, and talent that Xavier students bring to our organization.”
She also likes how the ABSN program at Xavier has brought nursing education into the 21st century via innovative online learning and advanced nursing simulations. “We really value that as a clinical partner. The patients and nursing staff at Mercy are always impressed with Xavier nursing students.”
In closing, Marie said, when it comes to the nurses at Mercy, she can always tell who has a Xavier nursing degree because they are the ones who exhibit service, leadership, personal and professional growth, and scholarship.
What do students think about our ABSN program? We recently sat down with three students in the inaugural ABSN cohort (class of May 2018) and asked them to speak candidly about their accelerated learning experience thus far.
Meet Lauren, a Division I athlete turned nursing student.
From a very young age, Lauren knew she wanted to be a nurse. “My mom was a nurse, so I’ve had an interest in medicine for as long as I can remember.” But her path to nursing school wasn’t a direct one.
As an undergrad, she opted to study evolutionary anthropology. At the time, she was a Division I athlete swimming for Duke University, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she couldn’t pass by. “It’s impossible to be a Division I athlete and go to nursing school at the same time,” she said.
Today she feels privileged to have the opportunity to finally earn her nursing degree through Xavier.
Meet Erin, she traded a bow tie for scrubs.
As an undergrad studying health sciences, Erin spent time shadowing physicians and physician assistants. She enjoyed working in medicine, but found the diagnostic approach that physicians take to patient care wasn’t for her. “We were looking at patients in terms of room numbers, not in terms of people. The nurses were the only ones who looked at a patient as a whole person.”
After graduating college in 2016, she had a difficult time finding a job in her field of study. “I was working as a banquet captain and wearing a bow tie. I didn’t feel like I was doing anything productive with my degree. Then I found Xavier. Now I feel like I am going to graduate and get a job.”
Meet Brianna, she has a master plan.
After graduating college in 2012 with a human biology degree, Brianna worked in an OB/GYN office and moonlighted as a nanny until she was ready to make her next move in the medical field.
At first, she debated between medical school and physician assistant school, but ultimately chose nursing as it would allow her to work with patients at a deeper level.
Because her ultimate goal is to become a midwife, Brianna plans to look into master’s degree programs after graduating from our ABSN program.
Erin: On my first call with an admission counselor, I knew I wanted to go to Xavier. Within a week of applying, I got accepted.
Lauren: I felt really supported. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it went smoothly. Anytime I had a question, my admission counselor got me the answer very quickly.
Brianna: I LOVE the faculty, absolutely love them. They are so intelligent, and they are so good at not making you feel overwhelmed. They know how to break things down so you can understand it. They are great and really in your corner and want you to succeed.
Lauren: They are always reiterating that we are free to call them or email them. I just really feel supported by the professors and faculty of this program.
Lauren: The fact it’s a devoted program with its own devoted space was really a great selling factor.
Brianna: I didn’t want to spend another four years in school just to obtain another bachelor’s degree.
Erin: I wanted a program that was fast and prestigious. I’ll be proud to call myself a Xavier graduate. I feel like hospitals will be fighting over me.
If you have a BA or BS degree and are interested in attending Xavier for your nursing degree, please contact an admission counselor today. All it takes is one conversation to determine if you have what it takes to be a Xavier nurse.