University welcomes students into new degree program

This year is exciting for John Brown University, as we have officially welcomed first-year students to a pre-nursing major at the University. As some nursing programs are competitive and cut-throat John Brown is taking a different approach by accommodating students with some limitations.

Students have to maintain a 2.8 GPA in their math and science classes and an overall GPA of 2.5 to move on to their junior level classes, which qualify them as official nursing majors. Currently we have 35 students in the pre-nursing major going on towards their major in nursing.

Elise Bruinsma, administrative assistant for the JBU nursing department, said, “We want to try to keep it as non-competitive as possible.”

Bruinsma explained that other universities have a large number of applicants, but then only a small margin of the students get accepted into the program.

“This weeds out potentially good nurses,” said Bruinsma, “We want to meet the students where they are at. A lot of times you can be a good student, but have bad bed-side manners.”

The pre-nursing students at JBU have to wait until their junior year to begin their nursing classes and clinicals. This can offer a bit of a problem for students that are not completely secure with the major itself, as it is common for students to change their major.

“We designed the program to make it easy to transfer credits for classes to count with other majors if this problem arises and provides an easy transition,” Bruinsma said.

She added that the program tried to be creative in offering clinicals in local medical centers in Siloam and surrounding areas. They plan to be connected with New Beginnings, a local pregnancy center, and other smaller agencies to get students directly involved in the community.

Bailey Eason, freshman pre-nursing student, said although the program at JBU is less competitive, “It does not mean it is subpar. I think it is definitely up there and able to compete with other state universities.”

Eason said she found her passion through a year off between high school and John Brown and was interested in skin care and what nursing has to offer.

Sophomore Payton Sager said she understands that it is not competitive, “But the nursing program is new and they are trying to grow the program, so it makes sense.”

“There is still an application process which involves writing an essay in addition to the GPA requirements,” said Sager, “I decided to come to John Brown knowing I was going to get a one-of-a-kind degree, and it’s especially great to have that one-on-one attention with the nursing program.”