Rasmussen College Dean Discusses Nurses Week
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Heidi Bodine: Welcome back to the show. In Today's Marketplace, saluting nurses. It's National Nurses Week, and the folks at Rasmussen College are celebrating with a special career fair, and here to tell us more about this important and growing field are Jodi Zastrow and Nicole Tobias. Thank you so much for coming in, and you are the Dean at Rasmussen College School of Nursing. What I want to ask you, with it being Nurses Week, what are the benefits of being a nurse?
Jodi Zastrow: I think one of the big things is that there are so many different opportunities that people can have when they're a nurse. They can go into education. They can work in intensive care. They can work in a multitude of different places.
Heidi Bodine: And who is the right candidate to be a nurse?
Jodi Zastrow: Those that have that caring personality, that show the want to help people, really. That's one of the big things.
Heidi Bodine: That type of personality is best. So, Nicole, we have one right here with us who is a student. Why did you choose to go into nursing?
Nicole Tobias: It has been a passion of mine for a long time. I was able to get back into school and make this transition into a new career. I'm very excited about it. There are so many different avenues, like she mentioned, that I can go into. There's labor and delivery. There's emergency. I can go into administration. It's a career that's never going to be limiting.
Heidi Bodine: You must feel good in these economic times when some people are having trouble finding a job. This isn't as much of a concern for you?
Nicole Tobias: No, I think that because of the different avenues I can take and the opportunities, that I'll be able to find something that's a good fit for me. There's going to be turnover, and there's always going to be a need for nurses.
Heidi Bodine: So, Jodi, tell me about the programs at Rasmussen.
Jodi Zastrow: Well, at Rasmussen, we have LPN programs to RN programs to the BSN program, which is one of our new online formats for people to be able to work that into their busy schedules with work and family as well.
Heidi Bodine: Okay. So you can actually be there physically and do the program like a traditional student. If you do choose to do it online, how does that work, and who is right for that?
Jodi Zastrow: I think people that have the accountability to be able to focus and know what they need to study, because the instructor at that point online is a facilitator of the class and of the learning, whereas residentially we're in front of the classroom. We're still doing discussions, case studies, and those kind of things, but it's for that person that feels like they need that. They don't have that ability to be on their own and do a lot more on their own.
Heidi Bodine: I hear there aren't any waiting lists, and that's not always the case?
Jodi Zastrow: That is correct. We don't have a waiting list. We accept students four times a year versus the typical two times a year or one time a year at some colleges.
Heidi Bodine: So, any time when you decide, you don't have to wait until September to start the program.
Jodi Zastrow: Correct. We have four starts: January, April, July, and then again in October.
Heidi Bodine: Okay. That's great. What about the programs here in the Twin Cities, one location, many locations? How does that work?
Jodi Zastrow: We have multiple locations. We have our Eagan Campus, Lake Elmo/Woodbury Campus, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Mankato, up in St. Cloud, as well as Fargo/Moorhead. So we have multiple campuses, and our Mankato Campus is where we have our ADN program, which is that professional nursing program to get your RN degree.
Heidi Bodine: Okay. Nicole, tell me about the workload. What is a typical day? How much work do you put in?
Nicole Tobias: It is a lot of work, and it's very time consuming and you have to be dedicated to it. You have to be able to manage and prioritize your time. There are definitely things that I've chosen not to do because this is my focus. This is going to be my career. I'm in class typically two days a week, and then right now I have clinicals two days a week as well. So it's full-time.
Heidi Bodine: And clinicals, meaning that you're in a clinic.
Nicole Tobias: Yes.
Heidi Bodine: Tell me how that works.
Nicole Tobias: Right now, I'm at Courage Center in Golden Valley, and it's amazing. It's been a wonderful experience. It's the best environment to learn from. You're hands-on. You're learning from nurses, and you're getting time with patients and clients. To me, it's the best way to learn how to be a nurse.
Heidi Bodine: I suppose that's when you know you're doing the right thing.
Nicole Tobias: Yes.
Heidi Bodine: You're enjoying your time?
Nicole Tobias: Yes. It is. It's been a wonderful experience.
Heidi Bodine: So you have a career fair coming up, Jodi. Tell me about that.
Jodi Zastrow: We do. It's May 12th. It's from 3:00 to 5:00 at our Brooklyn Park Campus where we'll have 10 to 15 different vendors from the community coming in. Some are clinical sites that we're already at. Anyone from the community is welcome to come. They may be interested in nursing and looking for that entry level job as a CNA. A variety of our sponsors that will be there are looking for employees at the CNA level, the LPN level, the RN level.
Heidi Bodine: Do you have people register right there, or is it mainly just to answer questions for people considering the field?
Jodi Zastrow: They can actually apply for a position there when they come, but it's also informative to give them things about their companies and what they have to offer.
Heidi Bodine: All right. Well, thank you both for coming in. We'll let people know more information about the nursing fair. The nursing career fair is this Thursday, May 12th, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at their Brooklyn Park location. For more information, call 763-493-4500 or visit Rasmussen.edu/nursing.