We recently had the opportunity to interview Laurie Hendrickson, Dean of Nursing at the Rasmussen College – Mankato, MN campus. In this interview, Dean Hendrickson highlights nursing degrees and nursing career information.
Q&A with Laurie Hendrickson
What Professional advice do you have for nursing graduates?
My advice would be to always remember that it is all about the patient, never forget that!! Even when it seems chaotic all around youand there are more than enough things that need to be accomplished in your day- think about what your patient really needs the most. Always listen to them, give them your utmost respect, and remember that sometimes it is the ‘little’ things that can mean the most to your patients. They often just need a listening ear or a caring touch. That is why you went into nursing in the first place…never, ever forget that!
Why did you choose to go into Nursing?
I went into nursing because my favorite aunt was a nurse and she was such a wonderful person that I wanted to emulate her. I felt like I needed to make a difference in the lives of people and nursing seemed such a natural way to do that.
Why is it such a great time to become a nurse?
In my opinion, there has never really been a ‘bad’ time to enter the nursing field. Nurses are always needed but the need is going to get even greater in the next several years. I believe that you will never have to worry about having a job as a nurse, if you are willing to go where there is the greatest need. The current opportunities for nurses are amazing and so vast, there doesn’t seem to be a limit in what you can do as a nurse-the sky is the limit.
How important is continued education in nursing?
Nursing is one of those careers where you have no choice but to continue with your education. I have been a nurse for 35 years and it seems like the older I get, the less I know. There are so many changes within the medical/nursing fields, it is almost mind boggling. I often tell students that even being a nurse for so long, if I were to attend any one of their clinical experiences, I would most definitely learn something. Nursing provides you with an opportunity to obtain your education in increments. Meaning that you can start as a practical nurse, continue as an associate degree nurse, then a bachelor degree, master’s degree and finally a doctoral degree. Even if you decide not to obtain further degrees, there are many certifications that can be obtained which will always provide you with current knowledge within the field of nursing.
What are some of your personal or professional achievements?
I have had many amazing experiences as a nurse although to many people they may not appear that exciting. However, I have had a chance to make a difference in the lives of so many of my patients and their families. I returned to college when my three children were very young and obtained a teaching degree. In my personal life, I have been involved in my local church for quite some time and it seems as though I have been involved in almost all opportunities that were there. Some of my favorites are, serving as camp nurse at our Bible Camp several times, directing our children’s’ musicals for many years. I have often been part of the worship team and the choir as well and I even used to play the organ and piano for a variety of events. I was on our conference Christian Education board for several years. We have had an active drama group for many years and I have acted in several performances that we have done. My husband and I have three grown children that live within an hour drive or so and we really enjoy doing things with them whenever possible. We have done some traveling together recently-my daughters and I went to New York City last fall and we visited Washington DC, along with my husband, this summer. I love decorating and working in my yard. We have a large property in the country and there always projects that we want to do!
More on Dean Laurie Hendrickson
Laurie Hendrickson serves as the Dean of Nursing for the Rasmussen College School of Nursing- Mankato Campus. In this role, she provides leadership for a team of faculty delivering nursing instruction for over 200 nursing students in practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs. She has also served as the Medical Assistant Program coordinator and was instrumental in achieving AAMA Accreditation for that program.
Prior to coming to Rasmussen College, Laurie held a variety of positions within the healthcare and educational arenas. She served in a variety of managerial positions in nursing, taught in practical nursing programs, where she served as department chair. She provided extensive training in a variety of nursing assistant training programs. She has also been a Nurse Evaluator for the State of Minnesota for the MN Nursing Assistant Registry.
A registered nurse for over 35 years, Laurie holds an AA Degree in Nursing from Rochester Community College, Rochester, MN, a Bachelor of Science in Teaching degree from Mankato State University, Mankato, MN, and is currently enrolled as an MSN student at Loyola University New Orleans in their Healthcare Systems Management program. She is a member of Minnesota Nurse Association
Laurie and her husband, Keith, have three adult children and reside in rural New Richland, MN.