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Saint Mary’s welcomes admitted students for nursing preview day

| Monday, February 21, 2022

On Saturday, Saint Mary’s hosted admitted students who intend to major in nursing with the Office of Admission’s newly created nursing preview day programming.

Interim vice president of enrollment management Sarah Gallagher Dvorak explained the reasoning behind creating a specific admissions event for students considering a nursing career.

“We traditionally have a very large number of students admitted each year who have an interest in nursing,” Dvorak said. “That, combined with the opening of our new Center for Integrated Healthcare Education (CIHE), gives us a wonderful opportunity to show off the facility and give these students a glimpse into what a wonderful program we can offer here.”

Dvorak also detailed her hope that more students would enroll in the nursing program if given exposure to the program early.

“Our goal is to introduce the nursing program and our state-of-the-art facility to our admitted students and hope that ultimately results in more students enrolling at Saint Mary’s who are ready to pursue the rigor of a nursing degree,” she said. 

While the event was only recently launched, Dvorak noted that she suspects the event will become regularly scheduled.

“This is the first year for this event, and I would suspect that we’ll make this an annual event for admitted students,” she said. 

In addition, Dvorak described ways the marketing department will continue to promote the nursing department to incoming students.

“We are working with the marketing department on a number of things,” she said. “We have an email that goes out to students and parents all about the Center for Integrated Healthcare Education and a letter with a flyer on the CIHE will be going out in a couple weeks. Our video intern also created a short video that highlights a nursing student and takes you through the new high tech simulation labs, classrooms and the exam rooms.”

Dvorak noted the importance of creating major-specific admissions events, similar to the previously established science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) preview days.

“Rather than focus on broad exposure to Saint Mary’s, which we do in many of our events, we aimed to let these students and families dig a bit deeper into their academic area of interest — in this case, nursing,” Dvorak said. “We are once again hosting the STEM preview day as well [on] Sunday with the same goals in mind. Faculty and current students from these departments will also be on hand to speak with families and answer their questions.” 

Describing the schedule of events, Dvorak said students could interact with administrators, faculty and current students throughout their visit. 

“We [plan to] do a welcome from me and President Conboy, followed by an overview of the nursing department by [nursing science director] Sue Anderson,” she said. “[Admitted students will] be introduced to faculty, participate in a student panel and most importantly, they will do six different hands-on sessions in the facility. They will spend time in each of the following stations: mother/baby/pediatrics, adult/acute care, mental health/psychiatric nursing, exam rooms and two skills labs. They will be involved in these activity stations and will be supervised by faculty and current students.”

Senior nursing major Isabella Thompson-Davoli discussed the importance of introducing students to nursing skills early in their college careers. 

“Exposing potential nursing students to actual nursing is very important because it’s such a hands-on major,” Thompson-Davoli said. “A lot of girls really like the science aspect of nursing but then when we get into the actual patient care and nursing, they realize it’s not the major for them. So I think it’s important [that] girls see what they’re actually getting into before they spend a year or two in a major just to find out it’s not for them once they start classic nursing classes.”

Junior nursing major Erin Dotson was one of the students who assisted at the event. She noted her excitement to share the CIHE’s new technology with potential incoming students.

“It was rewarding to be able to show off the nursing facility and the state-of-the-art equipment were are using to better our education,” she said. 

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About Genevieve Coleman

Genevieve Coleman is a junior at Saint Mary's majoring in English literature, creative writing and secondary education with a minor in theatre. She currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor.

Contact Genevieve