By Eliza Joy
This semester sees 66 new undergraduates beginning at the BYU College of Nursing. Three students are international, while the rest come from 20 states in the US. With more applicants this year than any previous, BYU can be sure that its nursing program is filled with exceptional individuals. Each of them has remarkable drive and compassion.
One of the incoming students, Camden Hansen, is one of 10 males accepted into the program this year. Although males are in the minority, Camden is encouraged that the percentage of male students has begun to rise in the last few years, and with that comes an increase in the field’s diversity. Camden hopes to attend graduate school and become a nurse practitioner. He chose this career path because it’s a hands-on job where he can help others.
Another student entering the program this semester is Desiree Addo. Desiree is from New Jersey and loves BYU as it’s a place where she is surrounded by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She chose nursing for the financial stability it provides and also for the broad range of fields available to nurses. However, the biggest draw for Desiree is that nursing directly improves lives. One of her goals is to gain education beyond a bachelor’s degree and travel to Ghana, where her family is from, to teach about women’s and children’s health.
To welcome new students, the College of Nursing hosted a dinner. Along with great food and company, all in attendance were provided encouragement and wisdom for the years ahead. Dr. Jane Hansen Lassetter, the Dean at the College of Nursing, addressed faculty and incoming students. Getting into the BYU College of Nursing is a difficult and often competitive task. However, as the Dean puts it, “the competition is over. You should be looking for ways to help each other.” In addition to this sentiment, Dr. Beth Luthy said that students in the nursing program will be “friends for eternity.”
The Dean also told students to understand the sacrifices made to bring them to BYU. With eloquence in expression, she reminded students that faithful tithe payers subsidize the cost of education at BYU. For nursing students, this is especially poignant as the program expenses, between running labs and providing equipment, are particularly costly. Dean Lassetter urged students to be grateful for the “widow’s mite,” as our college is sanctified by it.
After reminding students of their fortune in attending BYU, Dean Lassetter encouraged the wise use of time. She said, “You are personally responsible for your learning and success.” However, the Dean also let students know that they have the support and resources necessary to overcome academic obstacles. Much of the Dean’s remarks revolved around the faculty and how spectacular they are. She assured the incoming undergraduates that they are in good hands.
Another message Dean Lassetter conveyed that is applicable to all, in or out of nursing, is the message that vaccinations save lives. Millions of people would not be alive today without the powerful science of vaccines. The Dean urged everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect and serve those around us.
In closing, the Dean expressed that the BYU College of Nursing is a place where children of God “learn the Healer’s art.” As nursing students learn how to be the Savior’s hands, they will be able to fulfill BYU’s creed to “Go forth to serve.” Dean Lassetter, the faculty, and the BYU community are excited to see our students use their knowledge to aid and comfort God’s children.