This Post is written by 2nd year MEPN, and guest writer, Sarah Cole
On September 15, 2018 the school of nursing hosted over 175 prospective students at the Kroc Peace and Justice Theater to hear about the incredible MEPN program that we are so blessed to be a part of. The group was full of questions that varied greatly in content and ranged from application questions to what we deem are the qualities and attributes that make a good nurse. Visitors were curious about what a normal week looks like for the current students’ in the MEPN program, what advice or instruction we could provide them for writing their personal statements, and if the cohort felt supported by fellow classmates and faculty. We not only gave a very enthusiastic “yes” to both questions, but we also gave examples of the different types of support we have received throughout our time in the program.
The open house was full of both excitement and trepidation. Many were there solely to gather information about the program and what it takes to apply, while others were in the midst of applying and had specific questions about the application process. Back when I attended the Fall Open House in 2016 as a prospective student, I remember sitting in the audience contemplating the very same choices and experiencing the same feelings, as I was in the middle of finishing my application during that time. My open house experience was so amazing and it truly solidified my choice in selecting USD as my number one option for graduate school. I remember being extremely nervous to submit my application and made my mother and husband proof read my personal statement and short answers about one hundred times before I actually hit submit. I clearly remember the emotions I felt that day and it is my sincere hope that they walked away with the same drive for this profession and the MEPN program as I did when I attended my first open house.
I have been fortunate enough to attend every open house that the School of Nursing has put on since beginning my time in the program and I feel as if these prospective students had the most numerous questions of any open house I have attended. They were not only interested in the program and what it entailed, but they were also very interested in talking to the students about what brought them to the MEPN program. It was great to interact with them and hear their various backgrounds and what they could bring to the cohort and program. As we were learning about the various backgrounds of the attendees, I also had the chance to hear the backgrounds of my fellow cohort members for the very first time or I had the pleasure of hearing their interesting stories once again. It was a great reminder of the varied experiences that make our cohort such a diverse and collaborative group.
One of the people in attendance was an older gentleman who shared his brave story of battling cancer and spoke about the respect and admiration he had for nurses. He conveyed just how impactful the nurses were on his care and how he attributed his ability to sit in the audience that day to the support of the nurses who cared for him. The prospective students were such an amazing audience to sit and listen to his story because many were there getting information about making a possible career change and it could have helped them make their decision. He specifically thanked the students sitting on the student panel for deciding to pursue this career and it was so wonderful for him to reinforce why we went into this fulfilling and rewarding career.