Father and Son March at College Commencement: Bridging On-Campus and Online Degrees

Kent Van Cleave had a special visitor when he graduated from Linfield College on May 27. His father, Al Van Cleave, also graduated from Linfield and was invited back to his alma mater as a Golden Grad. Fifty-nine years after Al took his commencement walk in the Linfield Oak Grove, the Walla Walla resident marched again, this time with his son. Continue reading

Making Going Back to College the Right Choice… Financially

Going to college at any stage of life is a big decision, regardless of whether it’s right after high school or down the road after you have established a number of years of work experience, as many adult students are now doing. College requires a great commitment of time, energy and money. For many, it is the financial aspect that is the greatest deterrent. However, earning a college degree is a very rewarding achievement for many, which makes the sacrifices, including the financial sacrifice, more manageable to endure.

Many students considering going back to college are looking to student loans as an option to help them afford college in order to achieve the higher education they desire, whether they are looking to advance their career or to pursue a new career path. In addition to using a portion of their earnings and savings to finance their education, many colleges help students to explore the resources of scholarships.  Some employers provide educational benefits for employees and for dependents of employees. With all of these resources, there will still continue to be a demand for student loans. Financial aid options can be as unique as the students seeking them, which has encouraged potential students to do their research when determining the best options available to them.

When seeking student loans, the first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  A valuable source of free information about the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program is found through the U.S. Department of Education. The Federal Direct Stafford Loan funds are awarded to students and the funds are directed to the college from the federal government. Students must be admitted and attending on at least a half time basis per semester or term.

The Office of Financial Aid at Linfield College works with the individual student to make sure that the financial aid offered is the maximum amount possible they can receive. Student loans can cover a variety of college-related expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and school supplies, even transportation and personal expenses.

The Linfield College Adult Degree Program is able to help answer financial aid questions, striving to provide the best service for each student, with a simple step-by-step process. The financial aid counselors are able to help each Linfield College student to learn what financial aid and student loan options they qualify for. Federal Direct Stafford Loans are administered by Linfield College and have advantages over private education loans made through banks or credit unions.  Making the decision to go back to college is difficult, but Linfield College wants to help students alleviate some of the financial concerns surrounding the achievement of a higher education.

Why wait? Now is the time to take that next step in your education. Contact the Linfield College Adult Degree Program today to take the next step in achieving your dream of a college education.

More Nurses Earn BSN as Hospitals Work to Achieve Magnet Status

Magnet status is an achievement awarded to hospitals that satisfy a set criteria designed by the nursing profession to measure the strength and quality of their nursing standards and practices. A Magnet facility is stated to be one where nursing delivers excellent patient outcomes, where nurses have a high level of job satisfaction, and where the nursing staff turnover rate is low. Magnet status is awarded and administered by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC), as part of the Magnet Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing.

Currently there are fewer than 400 facilities with Magnet status. These include facilities in the US, Australia, Lebanon, and Singapore. In part, by achieving Magnet status, hospitals hope to demonstrate a variety of characteristics, including, but not limited to, quality nursing leadership, professional models of care and professional development. As a result, hospitals are encouraging current and future employees to advance their education, including earning a BSN degree. This trend is evident at Salem Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which achieved the distinction of becoming a Magnet organization in 2010. Registered nurses at Salem Hospital have taken steps to advance their education, with many choosing to complete their BSN through Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing’s RN to BSN program for an online degree.

“The nursing profession in general has trended toward a high level of academic achievement,” said Ann Sukalac, Linfield College Instructor and Advisor who works with many Salem Hospital RNs. “Linfield’s RN to BSN program has noticed a correlated trend between nurses working to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and hospitals looking to achieve and to maintain Magnet Status.”

Accreditation is extremely valuable in health care, as consumers are becoming more educated and discriminatory in selecting their health provider. Individuals will look for objective benchmarks, such as Magnet status, to aid their decision.

Facilities that earn Magnet status must continue to encourage and provide opportunities for advanced education to their employees to maintain this award, as it’s not a lifetime designation. This encourages hospitals to look for registered nurses who have a strong desire to increase their academic achievement and learning.

Magnet status designation is an example of an organization’s and their nursing staff’s commitment to delivery of high quality of care to the community and to provide professional advancement. The trend is that more registered nurses are now considering going back to school to earn their BSN degree, so they can better contribute in helping their hospital earn this gold standard in patient care.

Ann Sukalac, Linfield College Adult Degree Program Instructor and Advisor contributed to this article.