The Hesston College nursing program began in 1966, and it continues to be one of the strongest programs in Kansas with an overall pass rate on the national NCLEX-RN exam of 99 percent over the last 47 years.
The program has 56 spaces available for students per class level for a total of 112 nursing students at Hesston each year. Those spaces – and the waiting lists – fill up quickly. Many students have families and balance a job with school work, and many commute from a distance in order to benefit from such an outstanding program.
Students put their classroom learning to practice in hands-on clinical settings in two on-campus nursing simulation labs and 13 health care facilities in the local area. Because of the high standard of excellence Hesston nursing students portray at off-campus clinicals, their experiences often turn into job opportunities as they earn their degree and R.N. license. In fact, nursing graduates who have sought a nursing position have found a job 100 percent of the time.
After completing Hesston’s program, some students continue their education to earn a four-year B.S.N. degree and higher. During the 2012-13 year, the program established articulation agreements with two four-year institutions, University of Kansas School of Nursing (Lawrence) and Bethel College (North Newton), to streamline the transfer process for Hesston nursing graduates to earn their B.S.N. degree. Credits easily transfer to any public or private four-year institution where a student chooses to continue.
As is clear in hearing about the experiences of Hesston College nursing students, the instructors in the program are key to each student’s growth and success. The college is blessed with highly professional and caring individuals in the nursing program, and each one of them – director Bonnie (Kauffman) Ac65, ’67 Sowers; Becky Bartell; administrative assistant Marilyn Unruh Flaming; Ruby (Chupp) ’73 Graber; Joyce Huber; Sondra (Wedel) ’80 Leatherman; Travis Nickelson; Rita Peters; Jean Rodgers; Gregg Schroeder ’86; Carla Stephens; and Sharon (Ross) ’90 Wedel – is deserving of the praise they receive.