Tess Foster

Tess FosterWhy study nursing at a liberal arts college?

I think that it is very important to gain a wide breadth of knowledge while you have the chance to get an education. Nursing students who do not attend a liberal arts college typically remain limited to the sciences. However, these students only obtain the technical skills of nursing. Studying nursing at a liberal arts college opens other opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and allows integration of other disciplines. This type of curriculum creates a well-rounded and compassionate nurse that sees his or her patients as people and not diagnoses.


What do you like most about the CSB/SJU nursing program?

My favorite thing about the nursing program at CSB/SJU is the holistic view that we get of our patients. We become proficient in the technical skills, while simultaneously learning how to communicate therapeutically with all types of people. They are skills that you are able to utilize in the clinical setting as well as in your everyday life. The CSB/SJU nursing program is not about memorizing labs or medications; it is a matter of transforming your mindset to critically think and gain an understanding of human nature.   


What has been the biggest challenge for you?

I think that trying to manage my time well has been the biggest challenge for me. I currently work two jobs and I am a full time student, and it can be overwhelming at times. However, I stay organized and focused by prioritizing my work for each week and creating "to do" lists. In addition, I ensure that I make time for myself by scheduling a time during the week where I am able to relax. It's all about planning!


What stands out about the CSB/SJU nursing program?

What stands out in the nursing program at CSB/SJU is the caliber of professors and the types of experiences that are available for the students. Every professor puts in 110% and will go out of their way to help a student. They are also all extremely knowledgeable and are excellent examples of advocates for the students and for the patients. Additionally, there are programs integrated into the nursing curriculum that allow students to study abroad and practice skills in unique settings. Many nursing programs do not offer the flexibility and opportunities that the CSB/SJU nursing program does.


What activities are you involved with on campus?

I currently work on and off campus, and I participated in the CSB/SJU Crew team for 3 years. I also participated in an entrepreneurial project that involved fundraising and traveling to Uganda to build a piggery and start a business. I would highly recommend participating in other activities besides nursing school because this is one of the few times where a person can explore a variety of interests. CSB/SJU has numerous clubs and groups to offer to all types of people, and you may find something that can blossom into a lifelong hobby!     


What is the learning environment like at CSB/SJU?

CSB/SJU has an excellent learning environment that allows students to learn by applying their skills in the classroom and outside of the classroom. In addition, professors facilitate discussion that challenges students while fostering growth in a safe environment. Students never feel as though they are asking a "dumb" question and they are comfortable going to their professor for help. Furthermore, the small class sizes generate a supportive community among peers and a more personalized college experience.    


What advice do you have for students considering a major in nursing?

To those of you who are considering a major in nursing, I would say to look at the kind of person that you are. If you are someone who is genuinely interested in helping others, working hard, and growing as a person, I would strongly suggest that you apply to the program. Nursing is a unique major that requires dedication, but is arguably the most rewarding field of study. It is a phenomenal experience that involves learning a great deal about the human body, the human experience, and yourself.