U Students Prepare for the Nursing Program as it Evolves


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By Kailey Gilbert, News Writer


In the 2021-2021 school year, nursing was in the top ten majors at the University of Utah, with 796 undergraduate students either at the pre-major level or declared in their bachelor’s degree.

In the “Points of Pride” listed on their website, the College of Nursing lists research, funding and faculty practice such as healthcare visits for incarcerated youth, among others.

Pre-nursing students at the U are required to take all general education requirements, nine courses in the STEM fields, corresponding labs for the majority of those classes and maintain above a 3.0 GPA before entry to the program. The College of Nursing also states on their website, “Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee that an applicant will be admitted to the program.”

Through the year of COVID-19, programs in the nursing and medical environment have been affected greatly due to online classes and a lack of ability to participate in normal extra curricular activities, and the nursing program and pre-nursing students at the U have not been excluded from this. 

A second year pre-nursing student at the U, Alyssa Pham, said COVID-19 has impacted her experience in school. 

“I really like in-person learning and especially last year it was hard to balance out my schedule,” she said. “It made it hard for me to make friends.”

She said masks still affect her ability to socialize with students. She expressed she has added stress because of the virus.

“COVID has taught me to work harder and reach out to teachers,” she said.

However, she said she has felt she is almost better off now because she knows how to communicate with professors. 

“In my perspective as a pre-nursing student, [COVID-19] has affected the program a lot,” she said.

Pham said there has been issues with prerequisite classes she has and she has missed out on labs. She also said she feels she has missed out on learning and she feels like there is less excitement about the process with online classes.

Brenna Hardy, a freshman, also talked about her experience as a pre-nursing student.

“Honestly my class sizes are probably bigger because more people are now interested in nursing,” she said. 

On the application for the nursing program, they also ask students to provide their experience in serving others in unpaid experiences, responsibility in their work history and using organizational skills to use time effectively.

“I feel like I’m lacking [in the nursing experience] because I’m no longer able to volunteer at the hospital at the moment because they aren’t taking volunteers,” Hardy said.

Additionally, Hardy said she did not get the results she wanted from one-on-one advising meetings because of the difficulty of communicating online. 

She encouraged other students to take it one day at a time and to keep working hard through the added stress. 

The application deadline for Fall 2022 for the College of Nursing is Feb. 1 at 5 p.m MST. They also consider letters of recommendation and eligible applicants will be selected for an online interview.


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