Dordt College News

Nurses screen college community

May 13, 2010

Dordt’s senior nursing students are in a unique position among their peers.

While other seniors are just ready to look beyond the classroom and into their professional field, these students are already licensed health care professionals.

On Tuesday, March 30, nine senior registered nurses shared their expertise with Dordt’s community by offering a cholesterol screening and a health fair.

Students and faculty took advantage of the opportunity to test their cholesterol levels and learn about healthy lifestyles. Troy Ellens learns his blood pressure from senoor nirse Abbie Horstman.“About sixty-five people came through for the health fair, and while that may not seem like a large number, the students were busy nonstop,” notes Mary De Young. De Young works as the Clinical Outreach Coordinator for Dordt’s nursing program and assisted the nursing students in organizing the health fair.

“Part of the senior students’ last big project is to educate the community about promoting health,” explains De Young. “We have a whole community here on Dordt’s campus, so we thought, ‘Why not do something for Dordt’s students, faculty, and staff?’”

The health fair was very informal, consisting of several educational stations tended by the nursing students. The nurses at the event helped educate Dordt’s community on topics such as cholesterol, hand washing, sun damage. Those who came early in the morning had the option of having their cholesterol tested. Others learned how their weight compared with recommendations for their height, age, and gender. Some employees were somewhat chagrined to learn how low the obesity level really is.

In addition to these practical services, the event helped raise the profile of nursing on campus. Dordt’s nursing program is still fairly new, but it is growing rapidly. There are eleven senior nursing students, but the program welcomed nearly thirty students into this year’s freshman class.

Through Dordt’s partnership with St. Luke’s Hospital in Sioux City, the students are able to take most of their classes on Dordt’s campus while getting hands-on experience at the hospital. After four semesters at St. Luke’s, nursing students are eligible to earn their associate’s degree and become registered nurses. Many students continue to take classes at Dordt to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Senior nursing student Allison Wesselius works at Royale Meadows Care Center in Sioux Center as a registered nurse while she completes her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Dordt.

“I’m a nurse, but I’m also a teacher,” says Wesselius. “Educating Dordt’s campus community on health topics we find pertinent was good practice for teaching and communicating with our patients every day at work.”

The response to the health fair was positive. De Young notes, “Various professors said that the health fair was very worthwhile, a staff member suggested that we do this again, and several students commented on how professional it was. Overall, the event was hugely successful.”


Media Access: Download Word Version | High Resolution Image: 1