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Henderson Among First RN to BSN Grads

Henderson Among First RN to BSN Grads

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Bellevue University’s first cohort in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program just wrapped up. Ginny Henderson, a Registered Nurse (RN) at Immanuel Communities, was among the students who participated in the graduation ceremonies held Saturday, June 6, at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs.



Henderson had been considering pursuing her bachelor’s degree for some time and had some special insight into the Bellevue University program from stepdaughter Brenda, a Student Financial Counselor at the school.

“I’ve always admired the nurse with a bachelor’s degree. While I could not always put a finger on it, there was a sense of professionalism, knowledge, and skill set that I have always desired. I always felt I was too old, too busy, and lacking the financial means to go back to school,” Henderson said.

Henderson’s Chief Nurse Executive (CNE), had encouraged her charges to consider going back to school to enhance their marketability and to secure their future.

“My Chief Nurse Executive decided to go back to school to get her MSN along with another BSN prepared nurse. The momentum of several of us continuing our education in nursing at the same time offered a sense of excitement, or bond that we are in this together,” Henderson said.

Henderson had no problems transferring in credits from Metropolitan Community College and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. “What a relief to find that I would not have to retake algebra courses or other classes that while I appreciate the value, would not benefit my skills as a leader or a professional nurse. The curriculum appealed to real life issues in nursing,” she said. “Many days, I could not wait to tell my co-workers what I learned the night before.”

Henderson adapted quickly to her first experience with online courses and effectively juggled her school, work, and family obligations.

“I love online learning! The ability to go out of town, decide what days of the week or hours to work on course work is so feasible for those with a plate full of commitments,” she said. “I worked smarter versus harder, finding that staggering my hours increased my productivity to complete more work in less time without interruptions and as a bonus, be a support to the other staff that work evenings and nights.

“Director (Kristen) Wessel provided tips early on such as using a calendar just for school work. From the school calendar, I prioritized and arranged caring for my elderly dad on certain days, and my children’s activities on other days. I found that sticking to a schedule worked best for me.”

Henderson is ready to put her new-found knowledge to use.

“With health care delivery changing rapidly with the increasingly complex health needs of an aging population, more nurses with the knowledge, resources, and critical thinking skills are needed to provide care in widening areas of care delivery,” she said. “The patients and families I care for ultimately receive the utmost impact through improved quality and, safe care delivery.”