Features Spring 2016

Dean McHenry Answers Why Nursing Education Matters on Bison Hill

Why is the field of nursing important?

As the American population ages, more people are living longer and are ill more often, increasing the demand for well-educated and highly skilled nurses who can provide the highest quality healthcare at the bed side. Due to that demand, nursing as a profession opens many doors in the United States and beyond. Nursing provides students the opportunity to touch people’s lives like no other profession. Here at OBU, we help our students prepare to touch lives as they learn how to integrate the head, heart and hands to bring healing not only to the body but also to the soul of their patients.

Why should students come to OBU if they want to pursue a career in nursing?

OBU has a tradition of excellence in nursing education and was the first approved baccalaureate program in the state of Oklahoma. We have a long history of dedication and commitment to nursing, and our program is known for producing quality nurses who are now providing care around the world. We teach our students not only about the art and science of nursing, but also how to incorporate their Christian worldview into their work. OBU nursing graduates truly learn how to love and serve their patients as Christ would have them serve.

What will students learn from an OBU College of Nursing education that they won’t learn at other universities?

In addition to the application of the Christian worldview, the OBU College of Nursing has a faculty that is truly dedicated and committed to the success of our students. Our professors are here because they have a heart to teach. As a liberal arts university, we develop students as people, focusing on how they fit into their communities and what their contributions will be in their communities. Not only do we help our students shape their Christian worldview in their profession, we also help develop them as people. Most universities focus only on the professional knowledge.

What does the future of nursing education hold at OBU?

Our goal is to continue educating nurses to meet the healthcare needs of our country, and also to work toward meeting the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for increasing the number of baccalaureate prepared nurses. In the “Futures of Nursing” report, the IOM recommended increasing the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree and doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate degree. We plan to continue our growth and to expand our programs to meet the needs of the healthcare industry and to enhance the careers of our students.

How will Stavros Hall impact the training our students receive and their preparation to enter the nursing profession?

Stavros Hall will allow us to continue delivering a premier nursing education while both complementing and enhancing that education with the use of state-of-the-art technology. We’re already doing a great job teaching our students. However, our 24-bed simulation lab and other tools will enhance our ability to prepare students. It will allow students to learn using high-fidelity simulation, mid-level simulation and interaction with real patients, giving them invaluable experience as they head into their careers.

Specifically, how will the simulation labs improve our students’ readiness to serve upon graduation?

Currently, no other nursing education program in the state of Oklahoma offers a facility of this caliber. Our labs will simulate scenarios in a realistic way that will mirror real-life experiences graduates will encounter in hospital, community and clinic settings. Providing these types of experiences better equips them to handle these scenarios once they are in the work environment. I want students to leave our nursing program feeling confident that they have been equipped with the needed knowledge and skill set and believing that they experienced the best education in the best facility.

Stavros Hall at a Glance

Jane E. and Nick K. Stavros Hall stands on the south side of MacArthur Street, just west of Kickapoo and north of Shawnee Hall, and opened for the Spring 2016 semester.

This 32,000-square-foot facility is designed to provide cutting-edge nursing education for both undergraduate and graduate-level students.

Stavros Hall includes five classrooms, a 109-seat lecture hall and a computer classroom, as well as spaces for students to study, meet and interact with faculty. The facility features six high-fidelity skills simulation labs, a medium skills lab, a health assessment skills lab, and a home health and bathing training room, totaling 24 beds. The high-tech simulation labs are equipped with the industry’s most advanced medical simulation solutions.