Major Spotlight: Nursing!
Each month the Academic Advising Office spotlights a major offered at LCC in order to provide students with more information about this major. The spotlight consists of several questions and answers regarding that specific major as well as web links for additional information.
This month the major is Nursing. Below is an interview with Academic Advisor Judy Leventhal. Judy is a currently the lead advisor for Pre-Nursing students.
Question: What kinds of students should consider a career in nursing?
Answer: Pre-nursing students should enjoy studying science, math, and psychology. A pre-nursing student should enjoy working with people, be compassionate, and should be able to handle stressful situations.
Question: What can a student do to find out whether or not a health career is a good fit?
Answer: Potential health career students can seek opportunities for job shadowing (e.g., go to http://www.sparrow.org/jobshadowing for information about the job shadow program at Sparrow Hospital.) Students can also take classes that will give them hands-on experience and be helpful in preparing them for jobs in health care. I always suggest that students consider taking CHSE108 (Long-Term Care Nurse Aide), CHSE110 (Nurse Aide: Acute and Long-Term), CHSE143/144 (Phlebotomy Technician and Phlebotomy Externship), or the EMT Academy (EMTA101/102/103/104/112). Working at these types of jobs will help students decide if they are suited to working in a health field and will earn points toward admission to the program.
Question: How does admission to LCC's Nursing program work?
Answer: The Nursing Program is one of the programs at LCC that admits a limited number of students each year. These are called Selective Admissions programs. After completing prerequisite classes, students submit a Selective Admissions application to be considered for this program. There is an Admission Ranking System (point system) that is used to determine which applicants are admitted to the program each year. Applicants are ranked according to their total points and admitted from the top point totals going down the list until all of the seats have been filled. The grades earned in the prerequisite classes are the most important factor in earning points toward admission. Other factors that are considered include length of time doing patient care work (such as a job as a nurse's aide) and community service volunteer work. There is no waiting list. If a student is not admitted, I recommend meeting with a pre-nursing advisor to discuss strategies for being more competitive and reapplying the next year.
Question: What are the kinds of classes would one be taking as a Pre-Nursing major?
Answer: Pre-nursing classes include lots of sciences. Students will take Human Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL201 and BIOL202), Microbiology (BIOL203/204), and Pharmacology (NURS200). Math is required through MATH112. Psychology classes (PSYC200 and PSYC205), Healthy Lifestyles (PFHW163), and general education classes (WRIT121, Communication Core, and Global Perspectives Core) are also required. Students are allowed only two attempts per class to earn the minimum grade of 2.5 in each prerequisite class.
Question: What degree options does LCC offer for Nursing? What about transfer options?
Answer: When students complete LCC's Nursing program, they earn the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) exam. A student who passes this exam is entitled to practice as a Registered Nurse (RN).
There are several options for students who want to earn a Nursing Degree from LCC. Students applying to the 2-Year Track and/or the 3-Year Track complete a single application and indicate their preference on the application form. The 2-Year Track has classes for 4 semesters, only fall and spring. The 3-Year Track meets year round for 8 semesters including summers and is a good option for students who enjoy learning at a slightly slower pace or have work and family obligations that take up some of their time. Students who have already earned a Bachelor's Degree (in any area) are also eligible to apply to the Accelerated Track which meets year round for about 16 months. A student who is already working as an LPN, Paramedic, or Respiratory Therapist can apply to the Advanced Standing Track and finish the program in one year. There is a $50 application fee.
RN students should plan to continue their education to earn the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN). This can be done through an RN to BSN Completion Program. There are many such programs available. LCC has agreements with the University of Michigan-Flint and Ferris State University at the University Center and also with Michigan State University. LCC's academic advisors can refer students to advisors for these programs to get more information. These programs are designed to be completed by working RNs.
Question: What are the employment prospects like with an associate's degree in nursing? With a bachelor's degree?
Answer: The U.S. government's Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in employment opportunities for nurses. As with any field, nurses who are flexible in their job requirements- willing to relocate, willing to work less popular shifts, etc., will find the most opportunities for employment. The need for nurses to help with preventative health care and the care of people with chronic diseases will increase as the baby boomer population ages and as people have more access to health insurance.
There is a trend for hospitals to require their Associate's Degree nurses to earn a Bachelor's Degree within a specified timeframe, so continuing their education beyond the Associate's Degree should definitely be part of the plan for students considering a career in nursing. Some employers will contribute to the cost of earning the BSN though an RN to BSN Completion Program.
Question: Are there any activities related to Pre-Nursing majors coming up?
Answer: Pre-Nursing majors should plan to attend a mandatory Pre-Nursing Advising Seminar. This two hour seminar is designed to help students who need more information about LCC's Nursing Program. The seminar must be attended before a student is eligible to submit an application, but it is best for students to attend as soon as they decide on pre-nursing as their major. Topics covered include the following: program options available, understanding the prerequisite classes, the Admission Ranking System, and the demands of the Nursing Program once you are admitted. A link to the seminar schedule can be found at http://www.lcc.edu/advising/seminars/. More seminar dates are posted every semester. Although students are required to attend this 2 hour seminar only one time, it can be helpful to attend an additional seminar if it's been more than a couple of years since you attended. Students are responsible for knowing any updated information.
Question: What other kinds of extracurricular activities would you recommend for pre-nursing students?
Answer: Pre-nursing students should find ways to do community service volunteer work. This can involve volunteering for a hospital, school, religious institution, or community organization. Students can consider volunteering for the Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, the Humane Society, Goodwill, homeless shelters, the food bank, etc. You can get more information about community service volunteer opportunities by going to http://www.lcc.edu/studentlife/volunteer_services/. If you are considering volunteering and are uncertain as to whether the opportunity you find will count for points toward admission to the Nursing Program, then be sure to check with an academic advisor.
Question: What other advice do you have for pre nursing students?
Answer: Carefully read the Career Ladder Nursing Program guide to get all of the information you need about LCC's Nursing Program. To find the guide, go to http://www.lcc.edu/nursing/nursing/admissions/ and click on the link at the bottom of the page. The guide is updated every spring/summer, so be sure to look at the new guide every year in case there are changes that affect you.
Meet with a pre-nursing advisor at least once a year to make sure you're making progress toward being ready to apply to the program by the application deadline that is your goal. You can make an appointment by calling the Academic Advising Center at 517-483-1904.
Students who are interested in health careers at LCC other than Nursing, should check into the following:
Useful Links for pre nursing/nursing students
LCC Nursing Homepage
Transfer (RN to BSN) options:
Academic & Career Advising
Gannon Building - StarZone
Phone: (517) 483-1904
Fax: (517) 483-1970
Additional contact information »