A Vision for Success
Columbia College First Lady Dr. Tina Dalrymple shares her hope for the future of Columbia College's nursing program.
What would you like alumni to know about your experience in nursing?
My nursing career started as an obstetrics nurse in a small rural hospital, which meant that I worked in labor and delivery, post-partum and newborn nursery. When the unit was slow or closed, I floated to all other areas of the hospital. Next, I worked for many years in community health nursing. I later worked as a family nurse practitioner and earned my master’s and Ph.D. degrees. At Hartwick College, I was a tenured associate professor teaching courses in community health nursing as well as nursing leadership and management.
I also taught a variety of nursing courses online for Excelsior College. In my role as a family nurse practitioner, I worked in a school-based clinic caring for children in grades pre-K through 12. I have enjoyed the variety of roles and experiences that my nursing career has provided to me.
What are your insights into Columbia College’s nursing program?
They [the nursing faculty and staff] are wonderful to work with and clearly care deeply about our nursing students and programs.
Our accelerated associate degree in nursing program is an excellent pathway to become a registered nurse (RN). I am amazed and proud of the fact that our nursing graduates had a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX exam in 2014 – something I have never experienced in my nursing education career.
The online RN to BSN degree program* is an excellent way for RNs to obtain their baccalaureate degree in nursing while working. The Future of Nursing (2010) landmark report initiated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recommends an 80 percent increase in the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in the workforce. The current workforce of baccalaureate-prepared nurses falls well short of this recommendation, with only 55 percent prepared at the baccalaureate and graduate levels combined (HRSA, 2013). More and more employers are looking for nurses to have a BSN degree.
What role do you hope nursing will play in the future at Columbia College?
Columbia College is hoping to be part of the solution for the projected shortage of nurses in Missouri. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), the occupation of registered nurse is projected to grow faster than average through the year 2022. The Bureau reports a projected growth of 19 percent between the years 2012 and 2022, thus reflecting a growth from 2.71 million RNs to an anticipated 3.24 million by 2022. The Bureau has also projected an increase in the need for replacement RNs due to the current RN workforce nearing retirement age (AACN, 2014). Columbia College is excited to be involved in the future of the nursing profession.
*Columbia College also offers an in-seat traditional BSN program.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2015 edition of Affinity Magazine, the Columbia College Alumni Magazine. It has been edited from its original version.