by Skyler Noble
Nursing is arguably one of the more difficult majors on campus, and I can see why. Whitworth students work hard to receive the education they need in order to get accepted into the WSU nursing school. Yet, despite the competition and difficulties often associated with the program, I think the way Whitworth handles their nursing students is extraordinary with the program’s added academic flexibility.
It is a fact that Whitworth students compete against one another to be one of only a few who get accepted into the WSU nursing school each term. What is not as obvious is that having a smaller class of nursing students’ means more will get accepted.
“Knowing that we have such a small number of students has actually worked to our benefit and we have come out ahead,” said Mike Ediger, associate professor of health science.
Roughly 15 percent of nursing students from Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and Whitworth University get accredited into the 92 seat program at WSU nursing. There are only a few Whitworth students who apply to the WSU nursing school per term, and even fewer actually get accepted.
However, most Whitworth students who are denied acceptance after their first application typically get accepted after a second or third attempt.
The point behind this is that students will be granted access if they keep trying. My initial thought was that if someone wants to be a nurse and he or she is good at what they do, shouldn’t that person be accepted?
After some research and talking to Ediger, I found that it wouldn’t be fair to the other schools if they took the best of the best from all the schools. As an alternative, however, Whitworth succeeds in giving options to those students who don’t get accepted the first time. They can achieve a four year degree in health science or community health, and then apply to the nursing school when they are done.
“Because of the flexibility we have, it allows students to stay here and pursue what they want and apply whenever they are ready to,” Ediger said.
As much work as it is to be a nursing student at Whitworth, it seems that the program here provides many options for students if they do not get accepted their first attempt. After learning this information, I can see the Whitworth nursing program is not as intimidating as it seems on the surface.
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