Nursing remains one of the most popular (and lucrative) careers for recent college graduates, often appearing on top five lists of best college degrees. While many choose to study only nursing in college, there are now many more options for non-nursing students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Accelerated nursing programs, which give students who have already earned a BA degree a BSN in as little as 12 to 18 months, are gaining popularity with now over 230 colleges across the nation offering these programs. Graduate Rosie McNeely (’17), who just earned her BA in Theology on May 13, is currently taking pre-requisite courses before she enrolls in her local state university’s accelerated nursing program.
“Even though I have taken the ‘long way’ to obtaining my BSN, going through Christendom’s liberal arts curriculum has really helped me to not just be able to name off the scientific terms I am now learning in doing prerequisites, but rather to understand and analyze the information that I am learning,” says McNeely.
McNeely has been passionate about nursing for a long time, thanks in part to her father, who is a family doctor. Seeing him help people inspired her to want to do the same, a desire that led her to begin taking prerequisites online beginning her junior year. Her experiences at Christendom have contributed to her passion for nursing as well, both in the classroom and outside of it. In the classroom, McNeely was particularly struck by her apologetics course, which helped her understand some of the fundamental principles needed in order to understand medical ethics — a concept that is often lost in today’s world. Outside the classroom, her experiences on mission trips opened her eyes to how many people need help medically, spiritually, and emotionally, inspiring her to want to become a nurse even more.
The path that McNeely is following is a popular one at Christendom. She is the latest in a line of many graduates who have gone into the medical field after graduation, including her own brother, Peter (’12), who is a certified anesthetist, and countless others that have gone into nursing or are currently studying for degrees in it. The medical profession has proven to be a great fit for Christendom graduates, due to their abilities to think critically and communicate well with others, and their understanding of the human person and ethics. Professors at these nursing schools have even claimed that they prefer liberal arts graduates in their classrooms, as their wide grasp of knowledge sets them apart from their peers.
For McNeely, the transition to nursing has proven to be easily manageable thus far. Thanks to the encouragement of her family, her friends, and her professors, she is well on her way to finding success in the nursing field, helping to bring hope to a troubled world, and joy to those to whom she will minister.
“Medicine is a field that is important not only because it is constantly developing, but also because it deals with the human body — its dignity and sanctity — while trying to heal and cure it. We need Catholics in the medical field, especially well-formed Catholics, to help heal the entire person while preserving and promoting the inherent dignity of the human person,” concludes McNeely.