Ohio University Zanesville celebrated over 50 years of nursing graduates at a campus event on March 15. Current students and graduates joined the celebration to hear stories from the original graduating class as they shared their nursing journey.
In 1970, OHIO Zanesville graduated its first class from the Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program. The first class graduated a total of 29 students, with the class being all female. The first male nursing student graduated in 1971.
Since the program began, the Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program has produced 3,670 graduates. In 2015, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program began to help answer the local call for more BSN prepared nurses. Since then, 205 BSN students have graduated from OHIO Zanesville.
“Celebrating more than 50 years of nursing graduates was an inspiration to our current students and faculty as well as a homecoming for our alumni,” Associate Director of Nursing Pam Sealover said. “Some of our first nursing graduates shared their journeys during their nursing profession. The stories were inspiring, funny and heartfelt. They also spoke of the passion each had for the nursing profession and caring for others. They spoke of the changes in nursing and healthcare over the years but also how the essence of the profession remains the same.”
The OHIO Zanesville nursing program provides on-campus classroom lectures, simulation and lab activities. Clinical experiences occur in local hospitals and agencies throughout the region. The nursing program enjoys an established reputation for graduating well prepared, high-quality nurses. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) which leads to state licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN), and many graduates remain in the Zanesville area for employment.
“Our recognition of the 50th anniversary of our nursing program on the Zanesville campus offered an excellent opportunity for members of the 1970 class to share their career journeys,” Dean of Campus and Community Relations Hannah Nissen, said. “Current students and alumni gained a sense of how the profession of nursing has changed over time, as well as the diverse pathways possible with a nursing degree. Our faculty and staff were able to celebrate and reflect on our campus role in educating nursing professionals over time and into the future. Our programs continue to offer the highest quality opportunities for nursing education in a supportive and engaging learning environment.”
In fall 2019, the campus revealed new facilities that included two large learning labs with a total of 16 beds and a practice lab with an additional eight beds. These additions doubled the lab space for students in an environment that closely simulates a hospital setting. In addition to the new lab facilities, students have access to three simulation suites featuring a variety of simulators to provide hands-on experiences for students.
Following the stories from the original graduating class, alumni toured the facilities to see the new developments on campus. Students and faculty shared the high-fidelity simulation mannequins with the graduates to give them an opportunity to step back into the clinic and classroom settings.
“The alumni stories made me reflect on the number of people that each of them touched during their careers and image how many lives our 3,875 nursing graduate have impacted. As a nurse you are invited to share some of the best and worst days in a person’s life...it can be both humbling and fulfilling,” Sealover said.
The nursing faculty invites graduates and potential students to return to campus on May 14 for the OHIO Zanesville 75th anniversary celebration. During this celebration, the nursing labs will be open again for campus tours and simulations. To receive an email reminder about this event, join the OHIO Zanesville community list.