Marian University in Indianapolis celebrated its 75th anniversary this past year, and our school of nursing enrolled its first students nearly 40 years ago. What you may not know is that this December will be three years since the inaugural class of students in the accelerated nursing program in Indianapolis completed their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Officially, they are the Class of December ’10. However, I refer affectionately to this group of pioneers as “The Class of Bill and Sarah.”
The Marian University School of Nursing offered a traditional four-year BSN, an RN to BSN program and a campus-based accelerated BSN program. To increase the capacity for new students, another BSN option was created for career changers and recent college graduates continuing their education towards a career in healthcare. This option offered online coursework and a clinical partnership with St.Vincent Health to include more than 700 hours of hospital clinical rotations. In addition, this hybrid model allowed the university bring 200 more nurses to the workforce annually. It’s our program – the Marian University for St.Vincent Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.
When I started working for Marian University for St.Vincent Health, Bill and Sarah were about halfway through their BSN journey as the first cohort of the then new program. Having come from a role in nurse recruitment at St.Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, I knew firsthand the critical shortage of nurses we faced. I couldn’t wait to spread awareness of this awesome new program.
I learned Bill started our program having received his first bachelor’s degree in biology from Marian University Indianapolis. He valued a private education and the university. He was working in patient care at St.Vincent Hospital where he discovered his passion for nursing. Our 16-month ABSN program provided him the quickest path to get there.
Sarah received a degree in health promotion from Purdue University. She had worked for the IU School of Medicine as well as a dermatology office. It was the latter where she was inspired by a nurse practitioner to one day open her own family practice.
Three years after these pioneers graduated, our program has produced more than250 new BSN nurses, with current enrollment topping another 250 students.
So where are Bill and Sarah now?
Bill is currently on a “nursing world tour” with his girlfriend who is also a nurse. Having worked for a couple of years as bedside nurses, they made the decision to become travel nurses. They work in various communities while seeing the world. So far, they worked in Portland for a few months and are now working in San Francisco until the end of the year.
Sarah continues to follow her dreams of running her own practice. Having worked for a couple years in a hospital, she was accepted to a master’s program and continues to pursue her dream of becoming a family nurse practitioner.
Watch for additional blogs from Bill and Sarah as they share their stories. It is so exciting to watch our program grow with the recent expansion of the accelerated nursing program to Nashville, TN, where we can’t wait to welcome our first cohort of students! Perhaps it is time for you to change your life? Let’s talk.