Anderson University Revealed: School of Nursing and Kinesiology

The healthcare industry is a hotbed for rewarding career paths, and the desperate need for trained professionals isn’t going away anytime soon.

Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest the need for 2.3 million new healthcare jobs by 2024 — a 19 percent increase from 2014.

But who can provide the scientific training mixed with the values of a Christian, liberal arts education for the healthcare professionals of tomorrow?

Enter Anderson University’s School of Nursing and Kinesiology.

The School of Nursing and Kinesiology shares the university mission of educating students for lives of faith and service in church and society, while helping students develop the skills of their profession well before they graduate.

The school also features an abundance of state-of-the-art facilities and technology, which provide students with opportunities for experiential learning and professional growth outside of classroom or textbook.

The School of Nursing and Kinesiology is divided into two departments, offering a total of five majors.

  • Athletic Training
  • Exercise Science
  • Nursing
  • Sports and Recreational Leadership

The Department of Kinesiology also offers five minors.

  • Athletic Coaching
  • Health Teaching License
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Education (non-teaching)
  • Sports and Recreational Leadership

Studying Nursing

The nursing major is a four-year program, which includes 55 hours of nursing courses and additional support courses such as microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. The nursing program at Anderson University  is regularly recognized as one of the top nursing programs in Indiana and is accredited by the Indiana State Board of Nursing and the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education. Students are prepared to immediately make a contribution as they enter the dynamic fields of healthcare by the experiences within the major.

The department of nursing boasts several advanced patient simulators to help students practice advanced lifesaving skills for pre-hospital emergencies, from advanced airway scenarios to IV therapy. The nursing computer lab provides students with a variety of healthcare simulations, which prepare them for success on the NCLEX exam.

“I was well prepared to work as a nurse,” Jody Zachary, a 2015 graduate of AU’s nursing program, said. “I received excellent clinical exposure. I knew information regarding medications that other nurses had never heard before. It was a difficult degree to earn, and it should be. We literally have people’s lives in our hands.”

Hard work pays off, as demonstrated by the 100% job placement of the 2015 graduating class. Additionally, 96% of the 2016 class successfully completed the NCLEX licensure exam on the first try.

The nursing department has also been working on creating other relevant simulations, including a poverty simulation and a refugee simulation, which allow students to learn about population health in a novel way.

Nursing students are also encouraged to observe healthcare in other cultures around the world. Nursing majors have the opportunity to travel at a reduced rate and provide nursing care to residents of places like Belize, Africa, India, and Nicaragua.

“AU is special because of our intercultural trips,” Sarah Neal, associate professor of nursing, said. “Many schools have optional travel abroad experiences, but our program requires an immersion experience — whether it’s to the nearby Jewish community or as far away as India. We travel with students to some really interesting places. Those two-week trips are life changing.”

The nursing faculty help provide opportunities for their students to find their passion in nursing, but they do not push them into a specific path.

“We have graduates who have completed graduate degrees at Vanderbilt. Others have landed jobs at the Mayo clinic. Some have worked with Mercy Ships to provide health care off the coast of West Africa,” Neal said. “We have grads who are working full time on the mission field, using their nursing skills. The interests of our students are diverse, and we see it as our role to put them in a wide variety of clinical situations so that they can figure out what they are most passionate about in terms of what kind of nursing they want to do.”

Studying Kinesiology

As a contrast to nursing offering one major, the Department of Kinesiology offers four majors and five minors for students interested in careers in healthcare, athletics, or wellness.

“All of our majors provide both specific content for their disciplines, as well as hands-on training in their respective fields through clinical experiences, labs, teaching/coaching practicums, field experiences, and internships,” Dr. Diana Jones, professor of kinesiology, said. “Our graduates are very prepared to go to graduate school as well as find jobs in their specific areas of expertise.”

The Kardatzke Wellness Center provides kinesiology students with a 132,000-square-foot facility with state-of-the-art labs, clinical settings, classrooms, dance studio, and pool.

Athletic training prepares students for a lifetime of service to athletes and physically active individuals, specializing in prevention, recognition, management, and rehabilitation of injuries that results from physical activity. Athletic trainers work in a variety of organizations and businesses. The program was started in 1977 and is currently accredited by the Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), which allows students to work toward obtaining certification through the Board of Certification (BOC) and state licensure.

Exercise science teaches students about human movement and how the body responds to physical activity. The major includes classes in anatomy, sports nutrition, exercise leadership, exercise testing and prescription, and other sciences classes that help students understand more about the human body. The program prepares students for careers in fitness training, adult fitness/cardiac rehab, strength and conditioning, wellness, clinical physiology, and scientific research.

Physical education teaching (K-12) (PETE) prepares students to teach physical education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade in public or private schools. Students in this program learn about basic motor skills, dance, fitness/wellness, sports, and lifetime activities as well as effective teaching methods.  Students take classes in anatomy, instructional strategies, first aid, child and adolescent development, and motor behavior. The program trains students for licensure to work in both public and private schools, but physical education majors can also find work in coaching, training in the workplace, as well as research fields. With hands-on experiences with homeschool children, field experiences, and student teaching, PETE students develop skills to be effective as professional educators.

Sports and recreational leadership is a relatively new major at AU designed to prepare students to work in recreation and sports centers, with athletic programs or professional sport teams, at camps, and/or in YMCAs, churches, or businesses. It requires 51 credit hours of classes, including conditioning athletes, sports administration, sports nutrition, youth and adult sports programming, as well as accounting, management, and marketing. The goal of this major is to help young people find their niche and passion in the sport, physical activity, and recreation industry. The curriculum encourages students to take additional classes in areas that complement their major.

AU is different

Many schools and colleges offer nursing and other health and wellness programs, but through experiential learning mixed with service, integrity, and compassion, AU’s programs offer a depth not found elsewhere. Graduates of the School of Nursing and Kinesiology receive their degrees and are ready to contribute at a hospital, a clinic, a rec center, a church, or wherever they may be called to.

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.