From IWU Magazine, Summer 2013 edition
From Student to Nurse
While preparing for their profession, Illinois Wesleyan’s
nursing students explore a range of liberal arts experiences.
Text by KIM HILL
In Stevenson Hall, home of Illinois Wesleyan’s School of Nursing, another busy day has
begun. Peek inside the Nursing Interventions Laboratory and you will see students
starting an IV on a lifelike female manikin. Across town, at OSF St. Joseph Medical
Center, nursing majors
take charge of the care of actual patients, guided by their clinical
instructor. Meanwhile, several time zones away, nursing students enrolled in IWU’s
study-abroad program in Barcelona participate in the video-conferencing of the course
“Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II,” being taught back in Stevenson.
Throughout this day and well into the night, the 150 students who major in nursing
can be found both at Stevenson Hall and throughout campus. Hanging up their white
lab coats, they take liberal arts courses on a variety of subjects, from art and sociology
to literature and history. They also make their mark in extracurriculars: this year,
for example, one nursing student was named women’s soccer MVP; another was crowned
Part of what makes the School of Nursing distinctive — and a big part of its appeal,
students say — is that it is fully integrated into the University’s undergraduate
liberal arts curriculum. It was in 1959 that the University’s four-year bachelor of
science in nursing program was officially launched. Its roots date back even further,
to 1923, when Illinois Wesleyan formed a partnership for a nursing program with the
Brokaw School of Nursing at what is now the Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal.
While technologic advances and the explosion of health-care knowledge in recent years
have changed how nursing is taught and practiced, nursing majors past and present
hold a common bond in their shared experience of Illinois Wesleyan’s liberal arts
traditions, according to Vickie Folse, director of the School of Nursing.
“They are students of the University who are majoring in nursing,” Folse says. “We
believe we are educating global citizens, and to do that in a vacuum, as some professional
schools of nursing do, is a missed opportunity to develop a young mind and prepare
a future leader.”
It’s no coincidence that many of the school’s alumni have become educators (indeed,
four nursing professors are also IWU alumnae) and have assumed leadership positions
in their fields. As the following photo essay and student profiles illustrate, many
facets converge to create a diverse and dynamic experience for Illinois Wesleyan’s
nursing majors, from hands-on learning to original research on new approaches to patient
The common denominator among all these experiences was expressed by one of this spring’s
nursing graduates who wrote about her decision to choose nursing as a profession:
“I value the opportunity to step into someone’s life and provide support and encouragement
at a time when they need it most. I chose nursing because I wanted to be the person
who can find a way to make someone’s most difficult times a little more manageable.
To view MORE PHOTOS FROM IWU MAGAZINE STORY ON SCHOOL OF nursing, click here.
To read about IWU alumnae nursing faculty, click here.
To read about nursing student Collin Barr '15, click here.
To read about nursing student Jennifer Boll '14, click here.
To read about nursing student Jasmin Cole '13, click here.
TO GO TO THE IWU SCHOOL OF NURSING WEB SITE, CLICK HERE.