Olivet The Magazine Spring 2022 - Nurses in Demand

“Through our innovative and highly personalized RN-B.S.N. and RN-M.S.N. programs, nurses are gaining the best of nursing and the best of Olivet,” - Dr. Tiffany Greer ’97, associate dean of the School of Nursing

The following article was first published in the spring 2022 issue of Olivet The Magazine. The digital version of the magazine can be read here.

According to a policy brief from the International Council of Nurses from late 2021, there is a predicted shortage of nearly 13 million nurses in the global workforce. Nursingworld.com recently reported more U.S. job openings in nursing than any other profession.

On Feb. 10, Dr. Stephen Lowe ’88, vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. David Pickering ’89/’94 MBA, executive vice president and chief financial officer, assembled a group of key Olivet stakeholders for an ONU Nursing Summit to discuss the national shortage of nurses and plan a strategic response. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic and its ongoing repercussions, a career in nursing continues to be a challenging and in-demand path for those committed to providing care as a calling.

Olivet Nazarene University has long been associated with the health care industry and a leader in nursing education, graduating the first cohort of nursing students in 1971 and growing to nearly 600 enrolled nursing students by 2014. 

Today, with on-campus students seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree and online students choosing the accelerated B.S.N., the nursing program at Olivet celebrates its strong academic roots while focusing on cutting-edge skills and abilities.

“Through our innovative and highly personalized RN-B.S.N. and RN-M.S.N. programs, nurses are gaining the best of nursing and the best of Olivet,” said Dr. Tiffany Greer ’97, associate dean of the School of Nursing. 

“The accelerated timeline, convenience and competitive cost of our programs make Olivet a standout in the landscape of online nursing degrees,” said Dr. Jeremy Van Kley ’97, dean of the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Nursing as a Career, a report presented by 989 Group, highlighted the growing need for nurses in the Midwest. The report also noted signing bonuses and weekly increases in wages as much as 200% for new avenues in the nursing field.

“The career field has expanded beyond clinical care and hospital nursing to include a growing field of innovative, highly compensated career paths like telenursing and travel nursing,” said Dr. Brian Parker ’93/’11 Ed.D., managing partner of 989 Group. 

Through Olivet’s innovative Your Way program, nontraditional adult learners can choose to re-engage in their higher education path — even with nursing as an end goal. 

With the average age of a U.S. nurse nearing 50 years old, the profession is welcoming entry-level nurses and encouraging the procurement of advanced degrees, often with great incentives. 

“Our average FNP [Family Nurse Practitioner] candidate is 33 years old, and they are juggling family and work life,” said Dr. Suzanne Phipps ’16 Ed.D., director of Olivet’s Master of Science in Nursing program. “Our programs cannot add to that stress. Our goal is to provide the strongest curriculum and one of the finest FNP immersion programs available.”

Many registered nurses who are fully engaged in the profession choose to seek the RN-M.S.N. path. 

“Our innovative RN-B.S.N. program recognizes hours performed, rather than an extensive entrance exam,” said professor Susie Enfield ’92/’10 M.S.N., director of the RN-B.S.N. program. “Our courses are only six weeks long, nurses emerge with a bachelor’s degree, and many continue on to the M.S.N. path.”

In response to the global nursing shortage and the impending need in our own backyard, Olivet is making room to provide additional, targeted scholarship dollars and generous financial aid to an additional 200 online and on-campus nursing students.

This is an important moment for health care and nursing, and Olivet is once again rising to the occasion. 

“More than ever, the world needs not just nurses, but Olivet nurses,” said Dr. Gregg Chenoweth ’90, University president. “Our mission of providing an ‘Education With a Christian Purpose’ goes well beyond an Olivet education and is lived out in operating rooms and beside hospital beds across the globe.”

To learn more about the School of Nursing and to enroll today, visit Olivet.edu/apply.

Republished 4/27/2022
LB