Student Profiles

Troy Bruns 

Major: NursingTroy Bruns
Graduation Year: 2011
Hometown: Redwood Falls, MN 

Why study nursing at a liberal arts college?
Liberal Arts Advantage
Studying at a liberal arts college facilitates the development of a well-rounded individual. It is especially beneficial for a nurse because the nursing profession requires a person who can interact with everyone.

What has been the biggest challenge for you?
Time Management
The biggest challenge has been time management. Nursing requires a lot of work, but it is also important to take time for yourself by doing the things you enjoy.

What stands out about the CSB/SJU nursing program?
Outstanding Faculty
The best thing about the nursing program is the way the professors treat you! They are approachable and always willing to answer questions outside of class. They are also willing to help with any problems that may arise. 

What advice do you have for students considering a major in nursing?
Live in the Moment
For students considering a nursing major, I would suggest working hard. Also, try not to stress yourself out. It can be very overwhelming to think about the application process, but try to focus on the here and now.

 

Dan Gamache 

Dan GamacheMajor: Nursing with a minor in Psychology
Graduation Year: 2010
Hometown: Rush City, MN 

Why study nursing at a liberal arts college?
Holistic Approach
A liberal arts college creates a more holistic atmosphere, which is the bedrock of the nursing profession. Here at CSB/SJU, our curriculum is based around natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities; all essential in becoming a great nurse. Also, liberal arts colleges focus on developing rationale and intellectual capabilities. With the knowledge gained at such an outstanding liberal arts college, I feel that I have the confidence to succeed in my chosen profession. 

What makes the nursing program at CSB/SJU unique?
Catholic Traditions and Extracurricular Activities
At CSB/SJU the incorporation of Catholic Social Teachings and Benedictine Values is what makes our experience so unique. Rooted in faith, our curriculum is based around healing; mind, body and soul. This Holistic approach to healing is imperative when caring for an individual in need. This is what is so unique about our institution.

The ability to immerse oneself in the college experience is also unique to this school. College is not all about classes and CSB/SJU understands that. Many students are in athletics, arts, senate, clubs and much more. College is about learning both in and outside the classroom. 

What has your experience with the CSB/SJU nursing faculty been like?
Helpful, knowledgeable, encouraging, FANTASTIC!
The nursing faculty has been incredibly influential and supportive throughout my schooling. They all are more than willing to sacrifice time and energy to help students succeed. They are all very knowledgeable and create a conducive learning environment. To put simply, these guys are awesome! Couldn't ask for anything more. 

What has been one of the greatest challenges you've faced?
Time Management
The greatest challenge I faced was time management. I was a starter for the SJU football team, manager of Sexton Dining and a nursing student. It was important for me to manage my time with all of these in order to be successful. At times it was tough, but I would not have changed it for anything. 

What advice do you have for students considering a major in nursing?
Work hard, but it is worth every moment.
Stay focused on the goal at the end of the road; graduating with a Bachelors of Science in nursing. Get involved with school. Join clubs, sports or other activities, because it will make your college experience even more enjoyable. Create a routine for studying and learning, and utilize it... it will help tremendously.

 

MaryAlice Riemann 

MaryAlice RiemannMajor: Nursing
Graduation Year: Spring 2010
Hometown: Spring, Texas

Why study nursing?
Making a Difference
There is not one specific thing that made me want to be a nurse, but rather an accumulation of factors.  I knew I wanted to make a difference, to help people, and to feel like I was making a positive impact in another's life. I wanted a profession I could be proud of. One that I would be excited to wake up and go to every morning. Nursing fit all of the above. And when it came time to chose a college and decide a major, there was no question nursing was the career path for me. As a soon to be graduate of the CSB/SJU nursing program, I still feel as excited (if not more) about my decision to become a nurse. 

What has been the biggest challenge for you?
Balance of Work and Play
I think the biggest challenge is trying to balance the workload of the nursing curriculum with college life. You want to be involved and try lots of new things while in college, but you also have homework and studying that you must do in order to prepare for class.  Trying to find that balance of "work and play" is tough.  But it is definitely doable. I, for example, am in the nursing program but I also volunteer with Special Olympics, am in ROTC, and have gone on a service trips to both Alaska and Tanzania, Africa while in college.  

What stands out about the CSB/SJU nursing program?
Program Support
Because our program is relatively small with 45 students in each nursing class, you really get to know the other nursing students and faculty extremely well. The same instructors who teach you, are also out on the floor with you at the Saint Cloud Hospital or the VA for clinical. What stands out is that everyone wants you to succeed and will do whatever it takes to ensure that you do.  

What is the learning environment like?
Expecting the Best
The 4th floor of the Main has become my second home, the faculty like parents, and my peers are some of my best friends.  From the moment I entered into the nursing program I was treated like "a real" nurse.  Our instructors expect the best from us; and are there to help and guide us in the right direction when we need it. We are challenged to think critically and apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to clinical situations. 

What advice do you have for students considering a major in nursing?
Keep the Goal in Mind
The nursing program is tough. At times the workload may be overwhelming. But know that the craziness does end and it is all worth it in the end. If you really want it, you will succeed. Through hard work and the help of the CSB/SJU faculty it is impossible not to.

 

Mona Shirazi

Mona ShiraziMajor: Nursing
Graduation Year: 2011
Hometown: Littleton, Colorado
 

Why study nursing at a liberal arts college?
The beauty of studying nursing at CSB/SJU is the ability to not only receive a highly accredited nursing degree, but to also have the background of being educated in a liberal arts college. Nursing is a degree that can be obtained at just about any college. However, studying at a liberal arts college adds a special touch to our nursing skills.  Overall, nurses who graduate with a liberal arts degree have a wide knowledge base that is undoubtedly demonstrated and applied in the health care setting. Here, at the College of St. Benedict St. John's University, we are blessed with the opportunity to learn about others subjects that are encompassed within the liberal arts such as the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Although these aren't required in order to become a nurse, they do in fact contribute to the development of a well rounded individual that can provide holistic nursing care, with exceptional confidence and ability to think critically. 

What makes the nursing program at CSB/SJU unique?
There are three things that I would say make the CSB/SJU nursing program unique: size, location, and our values. I cannot stress enough the impact a liberal arts experience has on obtaining a four year BSN degree. Our program is unique because it allows students to take classes in an intimate liberal arts atmosphere. Our program accepts only 45 students every year to participate. You can imagine then the amount of attention given to each student. I have never been in a class that is any larger than 20 students, which allowed me and my classmates to receive extra attention to advance our learning.

We are located on the fourth floor Main building. Here we have a lab, classrooms, a library, and most of our professor's offices. This immediacy and centralization of our program facilitates great communication and accessibility of resources. Although we participate in clinicals within our community at various settings, most of our nursing program is in one location which is highly conducive to our education.

Another unique factor about our program is our incorporation of the Catholic and Benedictine values. These values are unique and beneficial to the practice of nursing regardless of one's personal faith.  I personally am not Catholic but have found an increased ability to provide holistic nursing care by using these values. 

What has your experience with the CSB/SJU nursing faculty been like?
EXCELLENT! We are blessed to be taught be great professors. As mentioned before our program isn't very big, so we are able to build great relationships with our professors. Our professors go above and beyond, dedicating a vast amount of time and energy into being present and active members in our lives. They truly are one of a kind! 

Undoubtedly, the greatest challenge in this program is time management. As you will learn in your first year seminar class, use your planner! Our nursing curriculum is extensive, but this does not mean that it should take over your life. We are in college which is a time to grow and have fun. As long as you have due dates and events all sorted out in your planner- you are golden! 

What advice do you have for students considering a major in nursing?
Do it! Nursing is such a rewarding major. You will be pushed to limits you never imagined yourself reaching. You might feel scared and unsure of yourself from time to time, but this is the most rewarding factor of all-knowing that you can survive and that you will be competent in your ability to work as a nurse. You will never be alone. You have 44 other students in your same situation, upperclassmen that were in your shoes and professors that will always be there to help you. 

What has been one of the greatest challenges you've faced?
Undoubtedly, the greatest challenge in this program is time management. As you will learn in your first year seminar class, use your planner! Our nursing curriculum is extensive, but this does not mean that it should take over your life. We are in college which is a time to grow and have fun. As long as you have due dates and events all sorted out in your planner- you are golden!