Against the backdrop of a nationwide nursing shortage, Madonna University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences celebrated 60 years of nursing education at a February 25 gala.
Faculty, students, alumni, Felician Sisters, and leaders from the Michigan health care community gathered to recognize the nursing school, which launched its first four-year BSN program in 1962 and has since graduated more than 7,000 nurses. Throughout the evening, alumni and employers consistently talked about “the Madonna difference,” citing the intelligence, integrity, and compassion of the nurses trained by Madonna’s program and formed by Felician Sisters.
More than one nursing graduate spoke about both the academic rigor of the program and the spiritual aspects of patient care, citing instances of asking patients who are afraid of hospital procedures or difficult prognoses, “Would you like me to pray with you?”
Laura Archbold, who received her BSN from Madonna in 1977, said, “Madonna’s nursing program was comprehensively excellent. Aside from my nursing career, it prepared me to be an effective communicator, an informed appreciator of cultures other than my own, and a servant dedicated to Christian health care.”
Provost and Interim Dean Deborah Dunn, who first joined the Madonna nursing faculty in 1992, told attendees, “I regularly meet with health system leaders who are looking for well-trained people to meet the demand for nurses. Through our work together, major indicators have shown that as the number of BSN nurses at a hospital rises, mortality rates and rates of infection decrease. Madonna is well-situated to provide the nursing leaders that can continue to curb these numbers.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing profession is projected to grow at a rate of 12% through 2028, outpacing the average growth for other professions. The Madonna nursing program has a reputation for developing students into excellent, patient-focused nurses who become leaders in the nursing profession. Madonna currently has 25 different online and in-person programs in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in nursing, as well as certificates in gerontology, dementia care, population health, public health, and more.