Nursing Faculty Spotlight: Dean Lori Steffen

To highlight the credentials and talent within the Rasmussen College nursing school, the Deans at Rasmussen College will be featured in a special Spotlight Series. We recently sat down with Lori Steffen, the Senior Dean of the School of Nursing at the St. Cloud, MN college campus where she shared important advice and key benefits of pursuing a career as a nurse. Listen up! She’s got some great tips for prospective and current nursing students.

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Q&A with Lori Steffen

What is one piece of advice you could share to nursing graduates?

Understand that your greatest learning is yet to come. The first one to two years after you graduate from nursing school can be some of the most rewarding and challenging times yet. As you celebrate your success of graduation and boards, you may often feel that it is downhill after that. In truth, you will be challenged greatly as a new nurse. Open yourself to the experience and know that you are making an incredible difference in people’s lives and it is all worth it.

Why did you become a nurse?

I realized early on that I found great personal rewards from helping people. Nurses are allowed into people’s lives where very few people are privileged to be. We provide assurance to anxious parents by showing we care. We help people through pain and suffering with simple tasks and small gestures. We are allowed to provide comfort and dignity as people are dying. In my opinion, no one has a greater ability to impact a life than the nurse caring for people one patient at a time.

Why is it a great time to go into nursing?

Healthcare is fast approaching a pinnacle of change. Healthcare reform will be an agent of change for the industry. There will be new and different job opportunities that are not even in existence today. We are on the edge of a new and exciting time.

Why is Practical Nursing is a good place to start?

Each level of nursing brings a unique practice and learning opportunities for nursing degree students. I appreciate that the practical nursing program provides a solid foundation for nursing students to gain knowledge as a healthcare professional, learn how to work amongst a team, and set the foundation to grow in your nursing career.

More about Lori Steffen:

Lori Steffen serves as a Senior Dean of Nursing for Rasmussen College, School of Nursing. She is responsible for the Practical Nursing degree program at the St. Cloud, MN college campus. Lori began her nursing career as a LPN; she maintained her educational track and completed her associate’s degree in nursing from the University of South Dakota. Lori later went back to school as a non-traditional student to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing from South Dakota State University, and her Master’s of Science in Nursing from Walden University with specialization in Leadership and Management. She currently is a doctoral student at Walden University.

Lori has been a nurse for nearly 20 years. She has worked medical and surgical nursing but spent the bulk of her nursing career in the Intensive Care/Coronary Care Unit. She enjoyed 13 years working in ICU as a primary care nurse and charge nurse in Watertown, S.D. Lori shifted directions and worked for two years as the Director of Patient Care Services in an ambulatory care clinic. Lori joined Rasmussen College in March of 2009 as the Dean of Nursing.

Lori is a member of the National League of Nursing and the National Association of Associate Degree Nursing. She serves as a volunteer on the National Epilepsy Committee, Minnesota division. Lori has been married for 19 years to her husband Jim. They have two children and reside in Becker, MN. 

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Allie Gray writes for the Rasmussen College blog. She frequently contributes articles related to business and management, and general interest stories. Allie received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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