A Closer Look at the Rasmussen University – Ocala Campus
New to Rasmussen University? It’s only natural to want to get the inside scoop on what to expect from your local campus. We spoke with campus director Pete Beasley and asked him to highlight the important information every newcomer needs to know before stepping foot on the Rasmussen University – Ocala campus.
“Our students are passionate about improving their lives for themselves and for their families. They are dedicated and committed to achieving the goals they have set, and they make it happen,” Beasley says. Keep reading to learn more about the student experience and the ins and outs of the Ocala campus.
What is the history of Rasmussen University and the Ocala campus?
Since 1900, Rasmussen University has been building community through education. Since first opening its doors as the Rasmussen Practical School of Business in Stillwater, Minnesota, Rasmussen University has since grown to 23 campuses and has graduated thousands of students across its many programs of study. The University now offers dozens of programs spanning the Schools of Business, Design, Education, Health Sciences, Justice Studies, Nursing and Technology.
As Rasmussen University has continued to grow over the years, the main Ocala campus was opened in 2007 to provide additional access to education for students in the Ocala community. The Ocala campus is the first of the Rasmussen University campuses to offer the Professional Nursing Associate’s (ADN) program. In 2016, the University opened a second facility in Ocala solely dedicated to its growing Nursing programs.
“We are the largest residential campus within the Rasmussen University system with over 1,500 students. We’re also the only campus with two physical campus locations to support our growing student population,” explains Beasley.
Where is the Ocala campus located?
The main Ocala campus is located at the intersection of SW College Road and SW 46th Court. The campus sits adjacent to West Marion Community Hospital and just across the street from Market Street at Health Brook, an outdoor shopping center near the southwest edge of town.
The Ocala School of Nursing campus is less than five miles northeast of the main campus and is located just a few blocks away from downtown Ocala. The nursing campus is located on SW 12th Street and SW 17th Ave., a convenient five-minute walk to the nearest Target.
“We are one campus community with two physical campus locations. Depending on which part of town students come from, they have the opportunity to meet and study at either campus—whichever is most convenient for them,” says Beasley.
Worried about parking? Don’t stress—both of the Ocala campuses have plenty of free parking dedicated to students, faculty and staff of Rasmussen University.
What programs are offered at the Ocala campus?
The Ocala campus offers the following on-campus programs within the School of Health Sciences and the School of Nursing:
School of Health Sciences
- Medical Assisting Diploma: The Medical Assisting Diploma program at the Ocala campus in Florida is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).1
School of Nursing
- Practical Nursing Diploma (LPN)
- Professional Nursing (ADN): The Professional Nursing Associate’s degree program in Ocala (with an off-campus instructional site in Orlando), Florida, is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).2
- Professional Nursing Mobility Bridge Entrance Option (post-licensure LPN to ADN program)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at Rasmussen University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).3
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): The Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Rasmussen University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).3
Students can also enroll in any of the Rasmussen University online programs through the Ocala campus and have access to on-campus support.
What resources and support services are offered at the Ocala campus?
Both the main campus and nursing campus feature dedicated study areas for students to take advantage of. The student break room is perfect for students to socialize with one another, and the designated study areas are your best bet for a quiet study space. There is a Learning Commons at each location, equipped with computers for student use. Together, they also have seven computer labs which are used for testing, classes and other services.
The main campus has an Anatomy and Physiology (A & P) lab and a Medical Assisting lab. For nursing students, three nursing skills labs and two state-of-the-art nursing simulation labs are a key element of Ocala’s nursing campus, allowing nursing students to learn and make decisions in real-world scenarios through simulations.
“The faculty and staff at both of our campuses are very welcoming. Students also appreciate that they have separate areas to socialize, study and have private time.” Beasley says.
How is the Ocala campus involved in the local community?
The Ocala community is really special. It’s a small, close-knit community with a diverse population. “We are so intertwined with our community and have many close partnerships with hospitals and healthcare facilities in the area,” says Beasley. The Ocala campus has clinical partnerships across five counties and upholds strong relationships with Florida Hospital Ocala, Ocala Regional Medical Center, West Marion Community Hospital and The Villages Health system. Being a clinical partner of the campus, The Villages Health system has hired many Rasmussen University graduates. “It’s a two-way relationship with some of these healthcare systems; they hire our graduates and we allow them to utilize our facilities and labs to help develop and improve the skill sets of their employees,” Beasley says.
To the core, Rasmussen University is dedicated to global enrichment and meeting the evolving needs of their diverse communities. The staff and faculty of the Ocala campus support this greater mission by volunteering with community partners on an ongoing basis. “I enjoy coming to work every single day and investing into other people’s futures. The work we do to help improve people’s lives ultimately helps our community grow and thrive,” says Beasley. “Our faculty and staff are here for students when they need that extra support.”
Quick facts about the Ocala campus:
- The Ocala campus is located in a city known as the “Horse Capital of the World” and is famous for its horse farms. Marion County is home to more than 600 Thoroughbred farms and is one of the few Thoroughbred centers in the world.
- The Floridian aquifer is one of the largest aquifers in the world, so there are a lot of natural springs in the area. The upper Floridian aquifer is the primary source of water in most of central and northern Florida.
- Silver Springs is located right here in Ocala and is one of the largest artesian springs in the world. While swimming is not permitted, boating, kayaking and canoeing are perfect alternatives for enjoying the waters of Silver Springs.
- Need a quick bite? Check out some of these spots:
- Mimi’s Cafe is a casual restaurant serving French and American staples and is just across the street from the main campus.
- Las Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant serves authentic Mexican dishes and is conveniently located less than half a mile from the main campus.
- Looking for more? Panera Bread, Marco’s Pizza, The Crazy Cucumber, Olive Garden and Chick-fil-A are all a short drive from campus.
- Looking for a new study spot or need a study break? Here are some of the students’ favorites:
- Starbucks is a go-to option, along with several other coffee shops nearby, like Sips by JJ, Cup O’ the Irish, Barnes & Noble Cafe, Symmetry Coffee & Crepes, Dunkin’ Donuts and Sid’s Coffee Shop & Deli.
- Ocala Tuscawilla Park features a small lake, perfect for studying by the water or just taking a break.
- Shalom Park is a botanical garden, featuring over two miles of paved trails and 11 unique park areas to take in some fresh air and clear your mind.
Picture yourself at the Rasmussen University – Ocala campus
At the Rasmussen University Ocala campus, students are first priority, and the strong sense of community and fellowship amongst our students is evident.
“The faculty and staff at our campus have an opportunity to assist students in changing their lives every day. It’s amazing to see our students invest their education back into the community,” says Beasley. We are proud to provide a supportive environment to help our students reach their education goals.
If you want to learn more about how you might find your fit in our community of learners, check out the Rasmussen University – Ocala campus Facebook page.
1 The Medical Assisting Diploma program at the Ocala campus in Florida is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). 7777 Leesburg Pike, Suite 314 North Falls Church, VA 22043, 703-917-9503
2 The associate nursing program at Rasmussen University at the Ocala campus (with an off-campus instructional site in Orlando), located in Ocala, Florida, is accredited by the ACEN. The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for this associate nursing program is Continuing Accreditation. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000. View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding these programs at http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm.
3 The Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degree programs at Rasmussen University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750 Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791