Tag Archives: Nursing

Callahan to lead nursing bridge program at SBU-Salem campus

Across the country, there is great need for well-trained nurses—a need that Karlae Callahan, Southwest Baptist University-Salem health professions coordinator, hopes the campus’ new LPN/Paramedic Bridge to RN program will help address.

Karlae Callahan, Southwest Baptist University-Salem health professions coordinator

Karlae Callahan, Southwest Baptist University-Salem health professions coordinator

“The bridge program is a way for students who are already LPNs or paramedics to advance their careers and study additional nursing courses so they can become RNs,” said Callahan, who began working on the program when she came to SBU-Salem in 2012. “The program gives students who have previous educational work credit for the first year of nursing classes that they would have had to take.”

Callahan, who lives in the Edgar Springs area with her husband, Terry, an SBU-Salem adjunct instructor, says that the program has been in the works for several years, and that its curriculum and structure is based on the bridge program offered through the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU in Springfield. The Missouri Board of Nursing approved the proposal for the program in March 2015 with full approval contingent upon a successful site visit to be scheduled late summer 2016. The plan is that the first class will begin fall 2016.

Callahan has personally experienced the benefits of pursuing advanced education. She began her nursing career as an LPN in 1992 before becoming an RN, after which point she worked in smaller hospitals across the state, eventually coming to Rolla to work as a pediatric nurse. She has also earned a master’s degree in nursing education, and is nearing completion of a family nurse practitioner program.

She believes that God has uniquely prepared her for nursing education through this combination of experiences.

“A long time ago, I said, ‘Lord, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it,’” Callahan said. “I think that instead of only providing care to patients, which of course is greatly important, it’s really important to be able to impact the next generation of people who are going to be nurses.”

She believes that the ultimate goal of the program is to equip nurses to be servant leaders who are prepared to make a difference.

“We want to provide the community with the best qualified nurses out there,” she said. “We actually try to harness [students’] interest in wanting to help others. I foresee a really good group of students coming from this facility and going out and making a difference in the community, and that’s really what all nurses want to do.”

Undergraduate majors offered at SBU-Salem include business, criminal justice, elementary education, general studies, health science, psychology and sociology. Master degrees in education and educational administration also are available. Students who have already obtained an LPN or paramedic license may pursue an associate of science in nursing through the bridge program, scheduled to launch fall 2016; interested students may begin taking prerequisite courses as early as spring 2016. Bridge program students are eligible to concurrently enroll in SBU’s online BSN program, allowing them to work toward an ASN and a BSN.

For more information about attending SBU-Salem, contact Chris Welch, associate director of admissions at SBU’s Salem campus, at (573) 729-7071, send email to salem@SBUniv.edu, or visit salem.SBUniv.edu. For questions about the bridge program, contact Callahan at kcallahan@SBUniv.edu.

SBU building to be named after David and Betty Cribbs

Southwest Baptist University’s Board of Trustees voted during the Oct. 20 board meeting to name the David and Betty Cribbs Athletic Practice Facility for the Cribbs family’s generous donation toward the purchase of the building.

The 20,000-square-foot facility at 1951 W. Jones St. in Bolivar will be used primarily as an indoor athletic practice facility.

Judy Taylor Physical Therapy Garden: Trustees voted to authorize the University to begin fundraising and development of a rehabilitation garden in front of the Davis Physical Therapy Building to be named The Judy Taylor Physical Therapy Garden. The garden will be used as part of a faculty-operated clinic that is being developed to provide students with more learning opportunities through practical experiences while providing limited services to the community.

Dr. Judy Taylor has served the University as First Lady for 19 years, diligently attending to the development and needs of students, faculty and staff and contributing countless hours of her time to beautification efforts throughout the SBU campus.

Meyer, Andersen Foundation to be inducted into Philanthropy Hall of Fame: Trustees voted to induct Dr. Ken Meyer and the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation into the Southwest Baptist University Philanthropy Hall of Fame. Meyer has made gifts and pledges totaling $2.76 million to the University, and the Andersen Foundation has given $6.58 million to the University.

The SBU Philanthropy Hall of Fame was established in 2014 to honor individuals and entities who share the mission and values of the University while also investing financially in the University at the very highest levels. Trustees voted to set the minimum gift levels for eligibility for induction into the Hall of Fame at $1 million for corporate, foundation or service entities and $500,000 for individuals/couples.

Pre-licensure Bachelor of Nursing degree: Trustees approved a plan for development of a Pre-licensure Bachelor of Nursing degree to be offered on the Bolivar and Springfield campuses. The degree offering is pending approval of the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

Tuition for 2016-17: Trustees voted to approve a 3.1-percent increase for tuition, room, board and fees in 2016-17 for undergraduate students on the Bolivar campus.

Other action items included adoption of a revised budget for FY 2015-16 and acceptance of the FY 2014-15 audit.

SBU’s Board of Trustees will meet again in April 2016.

SBU trustees approve plan for pre-licensure nursing degree on Bolivar campus

Southwest Baptist University’s Board of Trustees approved a plan for offering a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing on the Bolivar and Springfield campuses, with a goal of the first cohorts entering in Fall 2017, contingent upon approval from the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

“There is strong demand for nurses within the healthcare field and a strong demand among prospective students for a pre-licensure nursing degree on our Bolivar campus,” said SBU President Dr. C. Pat Taylor. “This degree will complement the nursing degrees already offered on our Springfield campus.”

In collaboration with Mercy Hospital Springfield since 1996, SBU has provided nursing and health sciences education at the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU in Springfield. Enrollment on that campus exceeds 750 this fall.

“Many of our students on the Springfield campus are non-traditional students,” Taylor said. “We already offer a Pre-Nursing program on the Bolivar campus, but after completing pre-requisites and other graduation requirements, the students then must transfer to the Springfield campus. With the proposed pre-licensure program, these students can stay on the Bolivar campus all four years.”

SBU is in the process of submitting a program proposal to the Missouri State Board of Nursing for approval to offer the degree. The pre-licensure program will prepare a student to take the NCLEX-RN examination, which is required to become an RN. The NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate for Associate of Science in Nursing graduates on the Springfield campus consistently are higher than state and national averages.

“Students will take pre-requisite courses during the first two years and apply for the nursing program during their sophomore year,” said Dr. Kezia Lilly, Dean of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU. “Students who are freshmen at SBU this year could be part of the first cohort, and students entering SBU as a freshman during the fall of 2016 also will have the opportunity to enter the program.”

Health care is the No. 1 high-growth industry in the Ozark region, according to the Missouri Hospital Association’s 2015 Workforce Report, with demand for Registered Nurses expected to increase 13 percent in the Ozarks region.

“We need to be proactive in our educational program offerings to help supply the growing demands of registered nurses for our local hospitals,” Lilly said.

For more information about nursing at SBU, contact SBU Admissions at (800) 526-5859.

Mercy/SBU health sciences college breaks record enrollment

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University hit record enrollment with 746 students on the first day of classes Monday, Aug. 25. The previous record was 695 in 2009.

“We are very excited about the future of our nursing, radiography and health sciences programs,” said Kezia Lilly, D.N.P., who became dean of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU in April. “We hope to see our enrollment continue to grow as we offer more online classes, particularly in the bachelor of science nursing and health sciences programs, to better serve our students who are working on a degree while also working full time.”

The Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU, at 4431 S. Fremont Ave. in Springfield, offers degree programs in nursing (including graduate), radiography, and health sciences, designed for students to pursue a health care education in a Christ-centered environment.

It is a partnership between Mercy Hospital in Springfield and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. For more information, contact Charlie Hungerford, associate director of admissions, at (417) 820-3272.

Kezia Lilly new dean of Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU

Kezia Lilly

Kezia Lilly, D.N.P., is the new dean and nursing administrator of the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University in Springfield.

“I have every confidence that Dr. Lilly will be able to usher us into a new level of achievement and recognition for our Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU,” said Provost Bill Brown, D.M.

Lilly is a 2006 SBU graduate who began teaching at SBU as an adjunct faculty member for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in 2009. She became a full-time faculty member in 2011 and became the BSN director in 2013. She has a master’s in business administration and a master’s in nursing from University of Phoenix, a post-graduate degree in nursing informatics and recently completed a doctorate in nursing practice with emphasis in educational leadership at Case Western University.

“I am not sure that being dean was in my career trajectory, but God continuously pushed me this direction,” Lilly said. “After a lot of prayer and encouragement, I chose to embrace the opportunity. The growing demands in health care continue to provide enormous opportunities for students to seek a career as a health care professional. We are dedicated to meeting these demands by providing a stronger and more competitive workforce.”

Lilly’s vision for the college is for the institution’s mission, vision and values to bridge the gap between education and practice while establishing longstanding relationships in the community.

“I want to help students achieve their career goals by becoming the next generation of health care professionals and taking pride to service our community needs,” she said. “I want to ensure that the college continues to deliver the best educational programs in southwest Missouri, resulting in high-quality health care professionals to meet high demand.”

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU offers a wide variety of nursing and allied health programs from entry-level degrees to advanced degree programs for registered nurses who wish to advance their professional education.

The college is at 4431 S. Fremont Ave. in Springfield, Mo. For more information about nursing and health science programs at SBU, call (417) 820-2069 or send email to nursing@SBUniv.edu.

Learn about health careers at Mercy/SBU Health Professions Day

Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences at SBU will host the Sixth Annual Health Professions Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, 4431 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield. Last year more than 100 visitors of all ages and backgrounds, interested in pursuing an education leading to a career in nursing, attended the event.

“Health Professions Day is an annual event dedicated to providing students interested in pursuing a career in a health-related profession the opportunity to hear firsthand what our programs have to offer,” said Dr. Kezia Lilly, Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences at SBU nursing administrator. “This day gives students an edge over the competition through exposure to admissions, health professionals, faculty, advisers and other students. At our campus we offer a wide variety of health care degrees including nursing, health sciences and radiography.

“The growing demands in health care continue to provide enormous opportunities for students seeking a career as a health care professional. Mercy/SBU is dedicated to meeting these demands by providing a stronger and more competitive workforce of health care professionals. We encourage students interested in a health profession career to see how the programs at Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Southwest Baptist University can help you to achieve your goal and begin your path to becoming the next generation of health care professionals.”

Displays, information booths and detailed information on nursing as a career, education requirements and financial aid opportunities will be available. Faculty, staff and current students will be on hand to give demonstrations, provide tours of the facility and visit with prospective students individually and in group sessions.

To register for Health Professions Day, please contact the Office of Admissions at nursing@sbuniv.edu or (417) 820-3272 or (417) 820-5047 no later than Wednesday, Feb. 19.

A pizza luncheon will be served.

121 degrees awarded at Mercy/SBU nursing and health sciences graduation

During the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of Southwest Baptist University Winter Commencement Thursday, Dec. 12, at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, 121 students received nursing and health science degrees.

Jay Guffey, chief operating officer of Mercy Hospital Springfield, was the commencement speaker. Additionally, ASN graduate Wesley Skinner of Walnut Grove sang “A Pile of Crowns” and BSN graduate Sharie Nievar of Branson sang “Healing is in Your Hands.”

Degrees awarded include nine Master of Science in Nursing, 35 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 75 Associate of Science in Nursing, an associate of applied science in emergency medical technology and an associate of science in health science.

Special awards were given to students in each program.

Awards for MSN students were given to:

• Cindi Aurentz of Springfield, MSN Leadership Award.

• Tedra Estis of Springfield, MSN Clinical Practicum Excellence Award.

Awards for BSN students were given to:

• Kelci Schaal of Billings, Mont., the Judy Mitchell Christian Walk Award. This award was established by the Capstone class of Spring 2000 as a tribute to Judy Mitchell, BSN Assistant Professor, who retired at the end of the ’99-’00 school year. The student honored exemplifies the Christian walk in both their personal and professional life.

• Stephanie Nimmo of Buffalo, the Eldridge Award. The D’Wayne and Venita Eldridge Highest BSN Academic Achievement award is given by Dr. Carole and Dr. Daryl Eldridge in honor of his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Eldridge are long-time faithful Southern Baptists who have taught and ministered in church for most of their adult lives. In their constant service to others, their emphasis on doing things right, and their steadfast love for God and people, they exemplify the spirit of the Mercy College of Nursing BSN Program. The student honored with this award has the highest institutional GPA in their graduating class.

• Jade Burges of Ash Grove, BSN Clinical Excellence Award. This award is given to a student who has demonstrated persistence, dedication and excellence in BSN clinical experiences. The student who receives this award has consistently performed excellently in his or her studies but has also shown a positive and loving spirit towards others.

• Sharie Nievar of Branson, BSN Leadership Award. The BSN Leadership Award is given to a student who has demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities throughout his or her time in the BSN program. The student who receives this award has been a leader in clinical settings and in the online classroom. Strengthening and demonstrating one’s leadership skills is a valued achievement of a BSN graduate.

Awards for ASN students were given to:

• Emily Landers of Appleton City (NUR 2124) and Kristin Smith of Willard (NUR 2135), highest academic recognition. Recognition is given for scholastic excellence to the student in each fourth semester nursing course with the highest grade point average of 3.5 or above.

• Candace Garner of Springfield (NUR 2124) and Mercedes DeFreece of Pittsburg (NUR 2135), recognition for clinical excellence. Recognition is given to the student in each fourth semester nursing course who best meets the clinical course objectives in an exemplary manner.

• Jamie Duncan of Urbana, Florence Nightingale Award. This monetary award is based on leadership, professional role model and self-directed learning. This award is voted on by the entire ASN faculty.

• Brittney Fleming of Springfield, Mary McFarland/Bathy Hatfield Memorial Scholarship. The monetary award is given as a scholarship to Southwest Baptist University based on GPA, commitment to furthering education, leadership ability and moral character.

• Jean Ann Rushing of Lebanon, J.F. Johnson ASN Academic Scholarship. College of Nursing incoming students with a GPA of 3.5 or above are invited to submit an application, letters of recommendation and an essay on “Why I am Choosing Nursing as a Career” to be considered for the full-ride scholarship from J.F. Johnson Educational Assistance funds. This scholarship covers tuition expenses, books and professional fees for the two year ASN program.

For more information about nursing and health science programs, including radiography, offered at the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences, contact Charlie Hungerford at (417) 820-3272 or chungerford@SBUniv.edu.