I am a Linfield grad and I am happy to tell you about my experience at Linfield. Sure, we may not have as much training in skills as ADN training, but we are not at any disadvantage compared to any of the other BSN programs around Portland. Linfield's not perfect, but every nursing program
has its strengths and disadvantages.
The important thing to remember is that hands-on skills are the easiest things to learn in nursing school. I know it sure doesn't feel that way when you first start. I remember feeling so overwhelmed in nursing school of all the hands-on skills that we had to learn. But as I continued through the program and starting working in the hospitals/doing my senior practicum, I started to realize that skills can be taught and learned by anyone over time. What Linfield does excel in is teaching leadership and a global/community view. When I say global/community view, I'm not just talking about community and global health (which they do spend a lot of time on). I am also talking about a global view on a particular hospital's community: how everything from a single hospital's policies to major national legislation affects how we take care of our patients; different types of personalities and communication styles so that we may learn how to best work with other members of the healthcare team to provide the best care possible; and ways to bring about change in hospital bureaucracies. This is stuff you just can't pick up from another nurse like you can with skills. I've been talking with nurse recruiters and applying for jobs and, believe me, if they see a list of leadership positions on your resume, it will look way better to them than a list of skills you have learned. Especially since different hospitals have different protocols for these skills so you'll have to learn the specific way the hospital does each skill anyways.
I personally am very happy to have been educated at Linfield. But I know people have different desires of their education. Here's what I saw as Linfield's strengths so that you may decide if it is what you want:
- Thorough training in psych-mental health nursing. This may sound like no big deal but let me tell you, no matter where you go in the hospital or in the community, you will be dealing with clients that have mental health issues: attempted suicides, abuse, deaths in the family, depression from loss of healthy state, etc. I have found the psych-mental health training (how to recognize these issues, what to say, and what to do about it) immensely invaluable. It allows us to provide more holistic care by identifying & treating the psych illnesses that inevitably with the physical illnesses. Some hospitals, such as the VA, where PTSD is rampant, prefer Linfield grads for this education.
- A student body that is focused on life experiences. Although Linfield does pick their students based on GPA, grades are not the main acceptance factor. You have a very good chance of getting in if you've lived abroad, worked for peace corp, or other similar activities. Linfield's classes tend to have a higher percentage of people who have been abroad than the public. It made for very interesting and fun classmates! Linfield also provides studying abroad opportunities specifically for nursing students to learn and practice health care in different countries. It was more interesting to me to be in a class filled with people who lived different lives than a class full of 4.0 students.
OK, this is getting long so I'll quit. Bottom line is every nursing school has its strengths & weaknesses. If skills are all you want to learn, you can do that for much cheaper with an ADN program. There is a long list of things I could complain about Linfield but I don't feel I am disadvantaged AT ALL. I think what Linfield may lack in teaching skills (and really it doesn't lack enough to deserve some of the bashing I hear), the school makes up many more times in what it does teach. Something to keep in mind, half of my class that graduated in December have jobs already, and that has to say something about Linfield's graduates considering how hard it is for new grads to get jobs right now.
PM if you have any other questions about Linfield. OregonBSN or Barleynhops, you guys have anything to add about Linfield??