News - GC Alumna Named Director of New Nursing Partnerships Program

GC Alumna Named Director of New Nursing Partnerships Program

Written by Rachel Heston-Davis GC Alumna Named Director of New Nursing Partnerships Program

Jessica (Briggs ’08) Evaul has been named the director of Greenville College’s new Nursing Partnerships Program. This Greenville alumna plans to bring her passion for nursing and her experience with GC to the table in order to grow the new program.

The Nursing Partnerships Program allows students to study at Greenville College for a few years and then enter a fast track to nursing degree completion at one of four partner schools: Southern Illinois University—Edwardsville, Saint Louis University, St. John’s School of Nursing in Springfield, and Goldfarb School of Nursing through Barnes Jewish Hospital. Students who meet the appropriate requirements can earn two degrees—a bachelor’s from Greenville College, and a bachelor of science in nursing from whichever partner school they choose.

“Nursing is a very big field right now,” says Evaul, “and it’s something that, up until now, Greenville has had no real part in.” That’s about to change. Evaul is excited for her alma mater to take this step because “there are so many opportunities, and such a need for nurses.” And not just nurses, but nurses with a foundation of critical thinking, problem-solving, and cross-cultural experiences, which an education at Greenville provides.

“The idea of the program is to bring students into Greenville College and allow them to experience the education that Greenville has to offer,” Evaul explains. Traditional nursing programs can be competitive and rigorous, leaving students little opportunity for undergrad experiences like sports, extracurricular activities, or taking a wide variety of gen-eds simply for the pleasure of ideas. Greenville College also provides small class sizes and a Christian emphasis. Thanks to the partnership program, students can have the GC undergrad experience and still pursue their ultimate goal of becoming a nurse.

Three of the four partner schools have agreed to reserve spots specifically for GC students. Students who take approved classes and meet the program requirements at Greenville College will complete their degrees faster once they move to their chosen nursing school. St. John’s and GC have arranged a 3/2 program, where students spend three years at GC and can finish at St. John’s in only two.

Evaul believes in this new program because she has personally experienced both educational worlds. She graduated from GC with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry in 2008 and went on to get her associate degree in nursing from Kaskaskia College, eventually finding work as a CNA, PRN RN, and finally a district nurse in Kaskaskia Special Education District 801.

There was no partnership program when Evaul was an undergrad, of course. Her original plan upon graduation was to go into veterinary medicine. However, she became interested in nursing after her mother battled a chronic illness that often kept her hospitalized. “I remember her telling me that the thing that got her through was the nurses,” Evaul says. “They kept her sane while she was away from family for so long.” Evaul saw the value in such work and started her career path in that direction.

She credits some of her success in that field with her time in the Greenville College science department. “I just loved the science department, and I spent all of my time there my senior year. The professors were always really good about being personable so I could go in and talk to them.” She also worked with some medical equipment that would later be part of her training in Kaskaskia’s nursing program. “It was all very familiar and information I was used to,” she says.

Now she has returned to GC, where she will teach classes, handle advising and scheduling duties for students, and recruit high school students for the program. She says about 25 current Greenville College students have already approached her to express interest in joining, either this spring or next fall. Her main focus, however, will be to recruit new students who wouldn’t have otherwise enrolled.

“Our goal [for next fall] is 20 students to start out with—just as a starting point,” she says.

For additional information about the nursing partnerships program, contact Jessica Evaul, contact at 618.664.7186 or jessica.evaul@greenville.edu.

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This story was published on November 16, 2015




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