Elon welcomed the university’s first cohort of nursing students to campus this fall. The program has been in development for five years with the inaugural cohort consisting of 31 freshmen and three sophomore students.
Elon nursing is a four-year program where students will conduct 540 clinical hours and have the opportunity to pursue a biology minor. The option of an accelerated track is offered for those who already have a four-year degree. 14 students are currently enrolled in this program, which allows students to get their Bachelor of Science in nursing in 16 months.
Inaugural Department Chair of the Department of Nursing Tiffany Morris has been at Elon for six months, her involvement with nursing is 28 years. Morris, who also serves as an associate professor of nursing, wrote in an email to Elon News Network that her goal for the program is “to prepare competent, compassionate and culturally appropriate nurse leaders to advance health equity locally and globally.”
According to Morris, the program is “innovative and student-centered” and will provide students with the foundation necessary to become registered nurses in the United States.
Freshman Taylor Capello has known she wanted to be a nurse since she was young and wants to work in pediatrics. She did not know about the nursing program when she first applied to Elon, but Capello expressed that its introduction cemented her decision to go to Elon.
“I fell in love with the campus,” Capello said. “And then they ended up sending out an email about having a nursing program. I was like, ‘Oh my god. Here we go. Elon, here I come.’”
Freshman Anna Burfeind also wants to specialize in pediatrics. Burfeind stated that she wants to help people recover from their worst moments. She said the new nursing program is a fantastic opportunity to accomplish this.
Capello and Burfeind both emphasized that the students in the program are already close and are very supportive. The community they are building focuses on pushing each other to succeed, especially through tough classes and clinical work.
“I think it’s going to be really difficult because from what I’ve heard from other universities and nursing students is that nursing school can be pretty hard,” Capello expressed. “But I’m excited to see where it will take us and watch everyone flourish and become a nurse at the end of all of this.”
One way Elon is helping nursing majors succeed is by providing the inaugural cohort with iPads. The E-Connect initiative has already been launched for the accelerated students. The faculty will distribute an iPad to each undergraduate student at the welcome banquet on Sept. 15.
“This technology provides mobile access to health care information, the latest evidence-based practice and allows students to stay connected in a variety of community outreach initiatives,” Morris said.
Elon has also set aside a lab space in the Francis Center for clinicals, which start sophomore year. Capello and Burfeind both stated that they are excited to get more experience in clinicals over the next few years.
Burfeind said that she encourages any prospective students to the Bachelor of Science in nursing to “ask questions because anyone will happily answer them.”
The support within the nursing program encourages students and aligns with their goals to help others.
“Nursing is an amazing career and calling,” Morris wrote. “All those who choose this path are making a commitment to serve others with care and compassion.”