Introducing Our Experts: 3 Questions with Area Dean of Nursing Krista Hoekstra, Ed.D., R.N.

Joining the Blaine, Minnesota, campus in spring 2019 as the Dean of Nursing before transitioning to the Area Dean of Nursing, Krista is dedicated to leading with excellence while living her purpose.

Why did you decide to work in higher education?

I always wanted to follow my grandmother’s legacy and become a nurse as she had in the 1930s. When in the field and caring for patients, I found I really came alive when I was teaching others. So, 16 years ago, I made the leap to become a nurse educator and have been teaching and directing ever since.

My work has been focused on building nursing academic leadership with a goal of furthering the development of quality educators and programs to therefore produce better, more capable nurses. I believe that each of us has something that we are really good at, and I am good at getting people to uncover what that is for them. I can help people reach their goals. As an educator, I have the opportunity to touch so many more people than I would at the bedside. 

My philosophy, stemming from my undergrad at Bethel University, has always been “lead with excellence and live with purpose.”

I have taught and directed in public and private colleges and universities across Minnesota. When I was looking for a new adventure, I was amazed by the complexity and diversity of Rasmussen College. Like the College, I am forward thinking and always focused on moving ahead. Unlike many other institutions, Rasmussen uses its deep history as a springboard into the future. It is not stuck in its history and what was – rather than evolving to what it needs to be. Rasmussen is dedicated to continually improving the student experience and building strong faculty teams, work I am excited about. Ultimately, we want to produce great graduates.

What makes Rasmussen’s Nursing programs unique?

Rasmussen’s Nursing programs have a high level of diversity in every sense of the word. We have students fresh out of high school working alongside 60-year-olds looking to make a career change. We serve students of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds, beliefs, etc. We have created a robust learning environment and a place to absorb cultural nuances and learn from each other.

Beyond curriculum, Rasmussen students have more resources available to them and people that want them to succeed than what I’ve seen at any other institution. Student success is so important to the College, you can feel and see it.

What is next for the field of nursing?

Nursing, like many industries, is facing rapid change. There is a struggle between the highly technical aspects and management of machines versus the human side of caring for patients. Providing high-touch care at the bedside within this highly technical world is the critical balance we need to work on.

Rasmussen’s ever-evolving Nursing curriculum and integration with new technology in our courses and classrooms are putting us on the forefront for training nurses prepared for the future.

About the author

Hannah Burn

Hannah is a Sr. Communications Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She loves to share stories and hopes that her content inspires others to pursue their educational goals.

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