Kent State University’s nursing program focuses on self-care


Courtesy of Hannah Stark

A group of nursing students at their clinicals. (from left to right) Hannah Schweier, Reese McCrann, Hannah Stark, Alex Harris, Leah Krajewski, Emily Lippe, Chloe Sickman, Nicole Cannon

Sydney Pendergast, Reporter

The Kent State nursing program is the highest-ranked program in northern Ohio. Even after the pandemic, both students and professors continue to keep morale and retention up.

The program focuses on self-care throughout the curriculum, said Tamara Fox, lecturer at Kent State and registered nurse of 20 years.

Tamara Fox has been a registered nurse for over 20 years and is a lecturer at Kent State.
(Courtesy of Kent State)

“If we are not able to take care of ourselves then we are not going to be able to take care of our patients,” Fox said.

As the pandemic progressed, the focus on self-care was “huge” because back when Fox was in school the “mention of self-care, was not even a topic.”

Each student has to be “a tough cookie” and not just go through the motions but actually put in the work to get far, Fox said.

“You are never going to pass with memorization,” Fox said.

The program focuses on analyzing situations and being tested for the safety of the students as well as their patients.

“You have someone’s life in your hands and you never ever forget that,” Fox said.

The continual focus on others, as well as themselves, is a big objective as well as being open and honest in the largest Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the state of Ohio, said Curtis Good, Assistant Dean of Operations and Student Services at Kent State.

“If you’re not properly taking care of yourself and your mental and physical health from day one, then how can you take care of patients?” Good said.

Curtis Good is the Assistant Dean of Operations and Student Services at Kent State (Courtesy of Kent State)

There are wellness promotions throughout the nursing building as well as stress-free environments for students during finals week, to encourage students to be open and honest.

Professors also encourage students to speak up and talk if they are “hitting any bumps in the road” and are there to be supportive in a way that they can provide assistance.

Emily Lippe, a junior nursing student and softball player, makes sure to reach out to her professors who “are always willing to help” her with any issues that she has.

On top of this, the way she avoids burning out too quickly is by prioritizing herself and her academics.

“I always make sure to make time with my friends and make time for myself,” Lippe said.

Good described self-care as the students putting themselves first, just like how you have to put your oxygen mask on first in a plane.

“If you don’t have oxygen, you can’t help the people around you,” Good said.

Lippe notes that she will make sure that she puts her own priorities first to continue to persevere throughout the program. This helps her to remind herself that all of her hard work is going to be worth it in the end.

“How I keep myself going is just reminding myself that everybody is doing this,” Lippe said. “Like every student is going to feel burnt out at some point.”

Sydney Pendergast is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].