Celebrating the College of Nursing’s inaugural class in Grand Island
Joely Goodman, PhD, left, assistant professor and accelerated faculty chair at the Grand Island Campus, and Kaylee Taylor, BSN’21, who was part of the first cohort at the Grand Island Campus.
Creighton’s College of Nursing had much to celebrate last year. There was the 50th anniversary of the nursing program in Omaha, the opening of the new campus in Phoenix, and the graduation of the inaugural nursing class in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Sixteen students completed the 12-month accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, the first cohort to graduate from the recently relocated Creighton Grand Island Campus located at CHI Health St. Francis.
The program requires students to have a bachelor’s degree in another field and provides hands-on training and experience to prepare them for a meaningful career in nursing. Students began the fully accredited program in January 2021.
Prior to the move, Creighton had been educating and training nurses in central Nebraska for more than 30 years through its campus in Hastings. Now, the college is located at CHI Health St. Francis, a regional hospital and referral center with more than 100 physicians and more than 1,100 employees.
“The new campus is conducive to a learning environment with dedicated classroom space, simulation lab space, a faculty conference room, and four faculty offices,” says Joely Goodman, PhD, assistant professor and accelerated faculty chair at the Grand Island Campus.
In the program, students receive a valuable clinical experience with smaller class sizes for important hands-on experience.
“Clinical rotation takes place in three communities — CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, CHI Health Good Samaritan and Richard Young Behavioral Health in Kearney, and Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings — that allow students to see a variety of facilities and learn about what services are available in central Nebraska,” she says.
The inaugural class was engaged and interested in the local culture and communities, Goodman says, and represented a diverse and outgoing group of students from Nebraska and across the country, including Colorado, California and Tennessee.
“The students who come here are so dedicated, motivated and driven to be successful, and that really is evident, not just in their classroom learning, but in the care they provide,” Goodman says. “It’s wonderful to be able to contribute to the community through quality health care providers.”
Other experiences included work with community partners, Third City Community Clinic, Hope Harbors Service Center and the Literacy Council of Grand Island.
“These partnerships allow our students to get out in the community and work with clients who are using different services,” Goodman says.
The Creighton College of Nursing Grand Island Campus helps address the critical need for nurses in Nebraska, educating and training a new workforce of health care professionals, many of whom stay in the region.
“There’s a documented shortage of nurses that’s only going to continue to increase, and hospitals and communities need well-educated nurses to provide adequate care to patients,” Goodman says. “Being able to educate nurses at that baccalaureate level is important. Creighton has been able to do that in central Nebraska for quite some time, but our new location allows us to have greater visibility and ability to contribute to the community.”
Creighton’s College of Nursing program is one of the most successful and longest-running accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in the nation, ranked as a top-50 program by U.S. News & World Report.
The inaugural BSN class from the Creighton College of Nursing Grand Island Campus was honored with a convocation and pinning ceremony in December 2021.