Q's for Linfield Nursing Graduates

  1. Hello everyone,

    I keep reading posts from other folks claiming Linfield nurses as basically incompetent when it comes to clinical experience. Are there any current Linfield nursing students or graduates that can please refute these claims??
    I applied to Linfield for next year, and I just want some input from actual Linfield students before I decide which program is best for me.

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    About punkdmunkey

    Joined: Jun '09; Posts: 20


  3. by   BSN2010
    Hi punkdmunkey,

    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??
  4. by   OregonBSN
    I had the honor of graduating with BSN2010, and I would be willing to have her as a nurse for any of my family members. I was accepted to several nursing schools in the area and if I had my choice, I would go to Linfield again. The accelerated program can only fit so many clinical hours in, but from what I experienced and what I learned - I got what I needed to begin basic practice.

    As BSN2010 mentioned, many ADN programs focus on task based skills - and they spend a lot of time practicing these skills. You get these same basic skills instruction at Linfield, but it is not the focus. Did I worry I didn't have enough training in these basic skills? I will admit I did worry about it. What was hard to realize in nursing school was; developing my critical thinking skills was more important. Linfield does an excellent job at this. Critical Thinking in nursing may be an abstract concept to you as a pre nursing student, but in a nutshell it is helping you see the bigger picture in patient care.

    50% hired rate is fantastic! I hadn't heard we had that many working already BSN2010! At my place of employment, the previous intern group had a third of new the grads from Linfield. My intern group had 50% new grads from Linfield. When I was hired, I asked my interviewing manager why so many Linfield grads are at this hospital - she said they love the diversity, character depth and the critical thinking skills Linfield graduates bring. Now that I have graduated, the reality is you learn most of your clinical nursing skills at your first RN position.

    If you went into an interview and said, I've started 20 IVs, placed 13 NG tubes, and 30 Foleys... - you would be laughed at. What they do want to know is what you will do when your patient's BP suddenly bottoms out, what interventions you have at hand and how you can manage an emerging situation... That is critical thinking. The Accelerated BSN students from the December 2009 class had a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX - that should say something about the program.

    Most of the criticism about Linfield I have heard, seems to come from RNs graduating from the community college programs. I don't know if that's the misconception that Linfield (being a private school) is full of spoiled rich kids - which is so not the case. Many of us worked very hard and made many sacrifices to go to Linfield. And for me it was very much worth it.

    A few years ago they couldn't graduate nurses soon enough. Times have changed and employers are being very selective. They are looking for critical thinkers and BSNs - Linfield will give you that.
  5. by   khazel2002
    I have to agree with the previous 2 replies. I graduated from Linfield in Dec 2006. Got a job working on a med/onc floor in Jan 2007. Worked nights for about 14 months, and I felt like a typical new grad. I was constantly learning, but was right about where I was supposed to be in terms of knowledge and skills. One of my greatest strengths was that I could always identify and utlize good resources when I needed them. (And, while I don't attribute that strength 100% to Linfield, I do think that my experience there taught me a great deal about thinking my way through things...)

    After 14 months on the floor, I was asked to step into an education/staff development coordinator role. When discussing this shift of duties, I asked the manager and director what made them think of me for it. Apparently, they too felt that though I didn't know everything, I did a good job of getting the info I needed to get a job done.

    What I'm saying is that I personally feel that Linfield directly influenced the type of nurse that I am, and influenced my ability to be in the position I am currently in (which I love, by the way!)

    Nursing school is what you make of it. You are directly responsible for getting the best experience you possibly can - this is the start of a professional career, and thus only the beginning of many, many educational opportunities. I wish you the best of luck!
  6. by   2princesitas
    I am currently a nursing student at Linfield, and I agree 100% with the other nurses/students comments. I have had several doctors told me that they would hire a Linfiled graduate any time. One of them told me that he would only hire a Linfiled student if he wanted a pain in the a... nurse. That kind of worried me so I asked him to clarify. He told me that yes, other school graduates may have more clinical experience, but as long as they have the training, the nurses he hires are trained on the job to performe the skills in the way the facility requires it. What he wants is nurses that will be a pain in the a... and will quesiton him and call him on things; that in order to show him he is wrong, will come back with all the latest research to justify his/her position. And Linfield graduates are trained to think that way. That "critical thinking" everybody talked about is drilled into our brains. So although as with any school, there are negative things to talk about, and we could have a long discussion about it, but that reputation you mentioned is completly undeserving.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. by   taz5869, RNC-OB
    Thank you for this discussion... it's been very helpful. I have been accepted into the fall 2010 cohort and am trying to figure out what to expect and have a few questions for the grads, if you don't mind.

    Grads, I am trying to figure out what to expect and am comparing the Linfield 21 month BSN program to the OHSU BSN program (3 year). Will you please let me know:
    1. Which program you were enrolled in (Accelerated vs. traditional) and whether or not you had a prior Bachelor's degree (affects the number of paracurriculum and Linfield curriculum courses, thus affecting your courseload)
    2. The approx. number of hours/days a week you were at school and/or clinical location (I'm trying to estimate my childcare needs and determining whether I'll need care 5 days a week)
    3. The approx. avg. number of hours you spend at school, clinical, & studying
    4. Any additional input that would be helpful. Program pros, cons, clinical experiences, difficulty of classload, etc.
    5. Did you take any Nursing elective courses? Which ones? What do you recommend?
    6. What's the difficulty of the courses vs. pre-requisites such as A/P and Microbiology?

    Thank You!
  8. by   monkeyduty
    I have a question: where did you live during school? I've been looking around the neighborhood and it's spendy. So if you commute, how bad was it?
  9. by   fuzzybuddyRN

    I too went to Linfield and graduated Dec 09. Your concerns are valid and you've done well in seeking more input. Like others, I also wondered if I was taught enough of the clinical skills to feel confident and competent once I get out into the real world. At Linfield, although technical skills are taught and you will surely get tested on it, the program's focus does seem to revolve around critical thinking and holistic care. What I mean by holistic care is that Linfield's education emphasizes on being able to address your patient, spiritually, mentally, physically, and culturally. In a nutshell, Linfield education helped me to think through for myself whether nursing was going to be a "calling" or just a job.

    I remember during my senior practicum at a local ICU, I was so excited to learn all of these critical care nursing skills and I was sharing it with the department manager. She listened to me and then added a little nugget of wisdom in a form of a question. She told me that most new nurses get really excited about learning all the technical stuff and may soon really feel like "hot shots" because they get good at what they do, then she said, but once you've mastered these things, then what next? whats going to continue to motivate you to give the most effective patient care? she then went on to talk about her experience and they centered around connecting with patients and having those skills as most crucial to the healing process. What she mentioned sounded a lot like holistic care. I know this may sound like a bunch of fluff but I got the hint that she was looking for nurses that had more than just technical skills. Besides, I wouldn't have been able to learn many of the skills I learned there at any nursing lab, most of the skill taught there are specific for that unit and you would have to be there to learn it and be taught by them.

    As far as having been prepared by Linfield in the critical thinking area, I just recently got hired by Portland Providence and during the interview, one of the things they asked me about was if I had any experience on compliance issues or any research of the sort. I was glad to mention a few projects on research and systematic reviews and how I gave a presentation to a whole nursing unit about an evidenced-based research project related to their unit. I also mentioned my leadership class and how it help prepare me to see a nursing unit as a whole. I can see their eyes and ears perk up and they seem to be that much more interested in me. I guess, interested enough to hire me. It wasn't my first choice for a unit to work for but I'm gonna treat it like it is because it's what I make of my nursing experience and I'm glad to be working for Providence.

    At my orientation, the CEO and a diversity officer emphasized and spent a significant amount of time talking about their mission and their core values, I felt like I was sitting in a Linfield classroom and it was neat to hear that the values I learned at Linfield were the very same things that they spent a significant amount of time talking about. I guess they were making sure that we weren't just to become "factory workers" and treat people as products but rather to be representatives of on organization that connect with people in a special way to promote healing and empowerment. They shared many stories and examples about connecting with patients from the community and they were proud of it. It gave me as sense that there's a higher purpose in what I will be contributing to the organization and to try to truly make a difference. Linfield taught me that Nursing is about people, as cliche as that sounds, not how many foley catheters I insert, as OregonBSN mentioned. Be prepared to write lot's of papers and do lot's of thinking , but it's a good thing. Again, what do I know about the success of Providence, they happen to be the largest healthcare system in the Northwest for a reason.

    Anyway, getting too long here, wish you the best, congratulations on becoming a student nurse, and happy journey.

    By the way, OregonBSN and Oregon2010 are just too cool.
  10. by   LilaOR
    Thank you so much to the Linfield grads (Congratulations by the way!!) for all of your input!!!! You have all been very helpful for making a decision between Linfield and UP. After visiting both schools and getting tons of input from people in the medical field and on these boards, it's obvious that both schools are excellent.
    After visiting each school, it seems that there might possibly be more 'non-traditional' students at Linfield with a broader age range and diverse background. That feels like a better fit for me personally.
    I am starting this fall and am so excited. So, are there easier times to park down there? I take public transportation, but I do like to drive too.
    Any comments about the sim lab? I have heard the people that run the sim lab at UP have a good sense of humor and make it kind of fun so the students aren't a nervous wreck. What were your experiences like?
    Also, did you buy all new books each semester or did you located a good place for used ones?
    I enjoy reading your posts!
  11. by   shelbel
    punkdmunkey, thanks so much for opening this discussion thread! I've had the same questions, and thank you to all the grads/current students for such thoughtful responses. I was accepted into Linfield's fall co-hort as well, so LilaOR, I will probably see you! I have a few questions for current students/grads as well:
    Do/Did any of you work while in the program? Also, did you choose to take a course during Jan Term or take that time off? And thirdly, a personal question: do you know anyone who got married in the middle of their nursing program? I am recently engaged and I'm thinking I probably won't get married until after the program is over, in 2012, which is a bit of a bummer. Any thoughts on whether or not it might be feasible to plan a wedding while in school? My gut says, probably not! - but I figured I'd ask anyway. Thanks!
  12. by   khazel2002
    Hi Shelbel -

    I was in the 18-month accelerated program. graduated in Dec 2006. I got engaged in Feb 2005, and had planned to get married in August 2005. When I was accepted to school, I learned that we had competency assessments the Monday after my planned wedding date - not the best scenario. So we delayed the wedding for the following August. Because we had a few weeks off from classes, it worked. However, I had already done a lot of planning prior to my getting accepted to school, my mom was able to help out a lot. We also decided to really tone the wedding down, just to keep it simple. Actually, the planning that I did do during school was a nice distraction for me. So, this really worked for me.

    If you are aiming for a large elaborate wedding, I wouldn't advise trying to do it during the program. But, don't underestimate the need for distraction from school - so maybe planning a wedding would be a fun, non-school-related activity. (You will need these, I promise!)

    Good luck!
  13. by   shelbel
    Hi khazel - thanks so much for your reply re: your experience w/ planning a wedding in the middle of the program. I'm impressed you were able to work it out the way you did. I haven't done any planning yet ... and have three more pre-reqs and a part time job this summer to keep me busy before the program starts this fall! I appreciate your feedback, it will help me in the discerning process. Congrats btw on your job and success after school! Take care.
  14. by   VivaLasViejas
    Thread moved to Oregon Nursing Programs Discussion forum.