I Love Nursing: 6 Deans Share Their Passion for the Profession
By Kristina Ericksen on 05/12/2015
National Nurses Week is a time dedicated to showing appreciation for the men and women who devote their lives to keeping others healthy. In celebration of National Nurses Week, we spoke with integral nursing deans from Rasmussen College about why they entered the field and what they’ve experienced along the way.
Learn about the profession from the inside out as six nursing deans share their passion for the vocation, what they’ve learned through the years and how they survived the ups and downs and still come out saying, “I love nursing!”
Why did you want to pursue a career in nursing?
Nurses are known for their calling to the profession, and you never know when that passion may surface. It may be rooted to some early experience with a nurse, like it did for Dean Tonjia Reed. It could emerge from a desire to support a family, like it did for Deans Holly Janssen and Dana Bush. Or it might just come from an unceasing call to care for others, like it did for Deans Karen Guty, Tammie Rogers and Colleen Koob. Whether you discover your calling sooner or later in life, nursing can always provide you an opportunity to serve others.
Dean Rogers: “I pursued nursing at the age of 24. I was working in a nursing home and loved caring for people. I remember being so happy I finally figured out what I wanted to do.”
"I wanted to have a job where I felt valued, respected and where I couldn't be replaced easily."
Dean Koob: “When I was young my sister had to spend the first month of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. From that day on I knew I wanted to be like those nurses who saved my little sister.”
Dean Bush: “I wanted to have a job where I felt valued, respected and where I couldn't be replaced easily. Also, I had children at a young age, so I knew I needed to attend college if I expected my children to go to college as well.”
What would you say to someone considering nursing?
Taking the dive and committing to a nursing program can leave many with cold feet. You may wonder if you have what it takes. It’s a challenge, but nothing you can’t accomplish without perseverance and determination.
Dean Reed: “Find your passion in life and follow it!”
Dean Rogers: “Make sure you want it. It is a difficult program. I have seen people who have struggled all through school, but have wanted it so bad they overcome all obstacles.”
Dean Bush: “Becoming a nurse might be the hardest thing that you ever do, but it will be worth it.”
Dean Guty: “You must be a student first! Nursing students must also prepare their families that they will need to be ‘a student first’ for the coming years.”
What do you love about being a nursing dean?
Nursing school is known for its academic rigor and no one knows this like a dean of nursing. They’ve seen both sides of the coin. They’ve been the student in the classroom, applied what they learned in the professional setting and guided students through the trials of nursing school. Just remember to keep your eye on the prize – graduation!
Dean Rogers: “My favorite part of teaching and being a dean of nursing is the pinning ceremony and graduation. You see students who have struggled but overcame. They are a true inspiration—when things get tough, you get tougher.”
Dean Bush: “When nursing students graduate, become a nurse and later return to talk about how much their education and profession as a nurse means to them it is very inspirational.”
What makes for a good nurse?
Good multitaskers? Sciences whizzes? Our nursing deans shed some light on what it takes to be a great nurse in the real world.
Dean Guty: “Passion, passion, passion for serving others and becoming the best nurse possible through life-long learning and mentoring!”
Dean Koob: “If you have the knowledge base for sciences and have a really big heart, nursing is the profession for you.”
Dean Janssen: “What makes a good nurse is a deliberate decision to be an excellent nurse. Nursing school can prepare someone with the knowledge and skills necessary. Faculty can even encourage the right attitudes, but following graduation it is each person’s personal decision as to how they will practice.”
What advice do you have for new nurses?
Ahh … at last! The golden goose that makes all those late nights in nursing school worth it – landing your first nursing job. But if you think all the tough stuff is behind you—you’re mistaken. Here’s some advice for starting on your professional journey.
"Nurses who continue to learn have a world of options open to them."
Dean Rogers: “It’s okay not to know everything—no one does! Don’t expect perfection from yourself. Also, don’t feel bad if you show the human side of yourself. Your patients will know you care.”
Dean Janssen: “Nurses who continue to learn have a world of options open to them.”
What have you learned throughout your career?
Oh, the places you’ll go…in your career! Good days and bad, you’ll see it all. Find your niche and pursue the opportunities awaiting you!
Dean Bush: “There are so many different things you can do with your career as a nurse that the sky is the limit.”
Dean Koob: “As a nurse one must know all that the physicians know about health and illness and be able to take that knowledge and care for patients. This is a difficult profession, but it can be the most rewarding one can pursue.”
Dean Rogers: “It is impossible not to take some things home. It is also impossible to forget those patients or family members that have made an imprint on my heart.”
I love nursing because…
Dean Janssen: “I love nursing because it has allowed me to give back—to help clients and students.”
Dean Bush: “I love nursing because it is so rewarding to be able to help others.”
Dean Reed: “It is an amazing profession with endless opportunities to provide care in endless settings.”
Dean Rogers: “I love nursing because it gives me the opportunity to continuously learn! I also love nursing because there are so many facets one could never get bored! Finally I also love nursing because I can help people. I can make a positive difference in someone’s life.”
Do you love nursing, too?
Do these deans’ insights and experiences on the nursing profession send your heart into a flutter? If so, maybe you love nursing too!
Do you think you have what it takes to take on this challenging and rewarding career? Check out the 8 Signs You're Ready to Become a Nurse to see if you’re ready to launch into the life-changing vocation of your dreams.