Life in the MCCN Junior Lane

It can sometimes be a bit difficult to spot a Junior, because they are busy working hard in clinicals – out of the classroom and into the hospital setting. But Ann Marie T. Brooks, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN, FACHE, FNAP, interim president, recently spotted Junior Fadumo “Fatima” Jama-Aden while both were paying a quick visit to Charlie’s Java Jolt and asked how her studies are going. Fatima told Dr. Brooks she’s very excited to prepare at Mount Carmel for her future career in nursing. “Not only is Junior year the busiest year yet, but it’s also proven to be the most fun, so far, too,” Fatima said. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else and can’t wait to see what’s next,” she added.

To shine a spotlight on the Junior class, Rapper talked with two faculty members about the 16-week most-looked-forward-to (or most dreaded) class, Nursing 309. We also asked a few junior nursing students their thoughts about life in the junior lane.

Rosanna Bumgardner, EdD, MSN, MEd, RN, assistant professor, who teaches at the Columbus campus, is course coordinator for Nursing 309. She and Beth Medaugh, MSN, RN, instructor, who teaches Nursing 309 at the Lancaster campus, are in agreement that 309 is a milestone course where students first experience the excitement – and the rigors – of what a career in nursing will be like.

Beth notes, “This is a content-packed course where the focus is on applying and connecting what they’ve learned in an academic setting with caring for real patients. It’s all about the application of the learning. We see such tremendous growth in students’ critical thinking skills and in their own sense of self-confidence.”

Rosanna says, “The juniors spend 168 clinical hours in a hospital setting, which gives them a tremendous foundation to build on. Of course, they have a clinical instructor at the bedside at all times, and – although the Ohio Board of Nursing requires no more than a 1-to-10 ratio of instructor to students, at Mount Carmel we prefer to keep it to no more than eight students per instructor. This ensures the best experience for the student, the instructor – and, of course, the patient.”

The Nursing 309 course is medical/surgical based, covering all systems of the body. Whereas knowledge about normal levels is learned in 204 and 205, in 309 the focus is on conditions that are abnormal and how they are cared for.

Unique to MCCN is the nutrition component. Dietitians provide six lectures on nutrition pertinent to particular diseases/body systems and are present with students in clinical settings.

Nursing 309 also includes extended time in the Simulation Center. Although students have some prep work prior to each session, they basically walk into a clinical situation where they do not know the “patient’s” condition and have not seen the physician’s “orders.” Divided into groups, they take turns observing and critiquing real-time performance in reacting to – and caring for – the simulated patient.

What Juniors Say:

Kalynn Bowmar

Columbus Campus
Hometown: Sunbury, Ohio

What made you want to be a nurse?

When I was young I always got the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and for a while I always answered “A doctor!!” I always loved pretending to be a doctor when I was little. Growing up, I started to explore what that really meant. In 2011 my grandma was diagnosed with ALS, and after getting the experience at the doctor’s appointments of being the family and support system of someone ill, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. There are so many of the nurses whose names and faces I can still remember who had such an impact on not only my grandma, but on me and on the rest of my family. I loved the thought of helping someone through a difficult time and being the one person they know they can rely on and who will take care of them for the day.

What are your plans after graduation – is there a particular field of nursing you want to go into?

I would love to be an OB nurse, I love everything about OB. I still have not had my pediatrics clinical, so I think I might really enjoy that as well. After the experience with my grandma, I have thought about doing hospice care as well – maybe later down the road. I am open to more options, but right now, I could definitely see myself working in labor and delivery or on a mother-infant floor.

You’re now more than half-way to the finish line – what was the greatest challenge making it this far?

I think the greatest challenge this far in the program is having enough confidence to trust your judgement at clinicals and to trust your gut while taking exams. At the beginning of school, it was difficult to get used to testing with “NCLEX style” questions. Once you have that thought process down, it is much easier. I think a struggle that will carry with students even after graduation is being confident in the nursing skills we have learned and pulling them all together.

What is the best part of Junior year?

Junior year is fun because we get to start switching clinicals every eight weeks (besides MegSurg), so there is a lot of new experiences. It is a good year because we are starting to integrate knowledge from other classes, into our current classes. I think it is also great because we are beginning to really think about our future, without the pressure of graduating at the end of the year.

Are you in any other extra-curricular activities?

I play some pickup club volleyball from time to time, and spend my extra time working.

What would you say to your first-semester Freshman self that you wish you’d known then?

Trust the process!!! Studying for so many things at once can feel so overwhelming at times. It can even make you question for a brief moment why you chose to major in nursing. Trusting the program, trusting yourself and trusting God can bring so much peace during hard times. It is a quote I have learned to live by.

Keely Ingram

Lancaster campus
Hometown: Logan, Ohio

What made you want to be a nurse?

I enjoy the fact that no one day is the same and no one diagnosis is ever the same. It is challenging, yet so rewarding. I helped my family take care of my grandfather during his battle with cancer and my grandmother when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. To see nurses interact in their care and really make a difference for my family really inspired me to want to do the same for others.

What are your plans after graduation – is there a particular field of nursing you want to go into?

I am really interested in the Surgery Department. I love making a difference and to be able to help so many people in one day and make a connection in such a short amount of time and help them through that transition and get them on the right path is extremely rewarding. I think the fact that no one day is the same is also really intriguing to me.

You’re now more than half-way to the finish line – what was the greatest challenge making it this far?

Keeping up with the pace. Nursing school is very fast paced with multiple exams a week on top of projects and papers and I think finding my rhythm was the hardest part. It’s something that once you find it, it can make things much easier. I learned really quickly that organization is a large key to that success.

What is the best part of Junior year?

Getting into the specialties. We’ve spent two years doing the foundation stuff and now we are finally getting to explore options and possible career moves. It’s also been exciting to see how far we’ve come!

Are you in SGA, Student Ambassador, Rho Omicron?

I am a Student Ambassador and member of SNAM at the Lancaster Campus. I also participated in Student Advisory Council my Sophomore year.

Are you in any other extra-curricular activities?

I am a peer tutor, and I enjoy participating in fund-raisers and raising awareness of different disorders. Every year at my work we do a fundraiser for Friends Helping Friends, and we pick a local family that is in need. We raise awareness of their needs and raise money to help lessen some of their stress. This last year, we raised awareness for a little girl who has Spina Bifida. We raised enough money for her family to purchase her first walker. This year I’m currently working on getting a team together for Great Strides which is a fundraising event for Cystic Fibrosis.

What would you say to your first-semester Freshman self that you wish you’d known then?

Don’t get discouraged, and reach out when you’re struggling. Use your resources, get a tutor, form a study group. Your first couple of years is hard. They are full of a heavy workload that is essential in building a good foundation. With this comes a lot of stress and discouragement at times. I would just tell myself to keep my head up and keep reassuring myself that even though it’s tough now, it’s extremely worth it in the end.

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