Mary Esker

Why study nursing at a liberal arts college?Mary Esker

I choose to study nursing at a liberal arts college because I wanted to become the best whole person I could be! Being at a liberal arts school gives me opportunities to learn and grow in other disciplines outside of the medical field. I specifically chose CSB/SJU not only because of the top notch nursing program but because it is a catholic institution and is rooted in a faith community. So while I grow in all aspects of academics, I also get to grow in my faith!


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

What I like most about the CSB/SJU nursing program is the professors! They all care so much about us and want us to succeed while also challenging us. It is proven every day through their 24/7 open office hours and immediate responses to emails no matter the hour of the day. I cannot count the times I have emailed a professor at midnight and gotten a response later that night. It is just proof to how hard they work and how much they truly care about us. 

What has been the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge for me has been time. The nursing program is a wonderful but rigorous program and class/clinical takes up most mornings. On top of that, you have all of your homework and extra projects, clinical visits and more. Finding other classes to take that satisfy your common core and also fit into your schedule as well as finding time to do all of the prep work while being involved in other activities can be challenging. But if you are motivated and manage your time well, it can be done with time to spare! And I promise the challenge is all worth it!

What stands out about the CSB/SJU nursing program?

3 things stand out to me about this program:

1. The high caliber of the nursing program.

2. The professors are fun and incredibly smart nurses who have chosen to spend their many degrees teaching us how to be nurses.

3. The NCLEX pass rate is superb. The homework and framework of our tests are formed with the NCLEX in mind. This nursing program knows you have to pass the NCLEX to be a nurse, so that is their goal to help as many people pass on the first time. All of the homework and tests have a purpose and an end goal in mind. Although it may mean failing a few tests at first, I truly believe they best prepare us for the NCLEX and that is proof in their pass rate in previous years.


What activities are you involved with on campus?

I am also a cadet in ROTC, president of the nursing club and Vice President of the Students for Life Club!


What is the learning environment like at CSB/SJU?

The learning environment at CSB/SJU is impressive. There are so many different people and viewpoints that learning is always an adventure with new and different perspectives. People will challenge you and your beliefs, and it can be hard at times but makes you a better, more educated student. My favorite part about the learning environment at CSB/SJU is that it is all based in Benedictine values. Most professors live by and incorporate the Benedictine values into their teachings. As a catholic institution, with the monasteries right on our campus, faith is integrated into everything we do. No, not everybody is catholic, but this catholic institution is rooted in faith and aims to make its students the best version of themselves- socially, academically and spiritually! 

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

My only advice is DO IT! Being a nursing major is so fun! You learn so much, get so close with your classmates and get to do so many cool things that other majors and programs do not get to do! It is truly unique and I could not have chosen a better path to take! The nursing program is not for everybody but if you can stand a little blood, like the sciences and like helping people, nursing is for you!