Preparing Nurses for Today and the Future (2023)

Shaylee Stevens AS ’20, BS ’21, MPC ’22;Marketing & Communications

As the Annie Taylor Dee School of Nursing celebrates its 70th anniversary, the faculty, staff and students who make up the hallmark program at Weber State University are building on the school’s legacy of care and service to continue innovating for the future.

Meeting Industry Demand

During the early 1950s, the lingering effects of World War II and the ongoing conflict in North Korea led to the most severe shortage of nurses in modern history. To combat the need for registered nurses, Weber State was selected in 1953 to host one of seven pilot associate degree nursing (ADN) programs as part of a research project led by Adelphi College in New York.

Now, 70 years later, the School of Nursing continues to meet the demands of the industry. With nine degree programs, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the school produces more registered nurses than any other institution in Utah, training hundreds per year to serve in communities nationwide.

The school helped Cutter Bergman ADN ’22 transition from student to medical professional. Thanks to classes that worked around his schedule, affordable tuition and networking opportunities, his education ultimately helped him land a job after graduation. He now works at Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital, where he treats patients recovering from surgeries
and inpatient visits.

Preparing Nurses for Today and the Future (1)“The way Weber State’s program works, you start learning about nursing skills early on, while you’re still new to the program,” Bergman said. “As you move up through your courses, you work with community partners to practice your skills in facilities,which makes it great when it’s time for graduation because you’re already familiar with everything.”

To ensure students are prepared to meet industry demands, WSU’s nursing program adapts to student needs, with a key component being stackable credentials.

A student could potentially earn an associate’s degree, work for several years in a clinic and return later to earn a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate. This style of program gives students a variety of paths, whether they are starting with no experience, advancing their credentials from a local technical college or enhancing their career with a doctorate.

In addition to offering flexible degree paths, Weber State collaborates with multiple campuses to increase accessibility for students across the region. Courses are offered on WSU’s Ogden and Davis campuses, online and at three regional technical colleges: Bridgerland, Davis and Ogden-Weber. The flexibility, combined with innovative teaching practices, helps students enter the industry efficiently and well-prepared to help patients.

“I think the success of our programs really boils down to our faculty and staff,” said Rieneke Holman, School of Nursing chair. “We’re constantly looking at new ways to be innovative and teach our students better, whether that’s new technology or working with community partners to understand their needs. Our focus is always on preparing students to go from being a student to being a nurse.”

2022–23 Nationwide Rankings

  • U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges for Nursing (BSN) Programs
  • Fortune’s Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs
  • The Princeton Review’sBest Online Nursing School Master’s Programs
  • The Best Accredited Colleges’ #12 Best Associate Degrees in Nursing in the Nation, #1 Best Associate Degrees in Nursing Utah

Focus on the Community

Beyond meeting industry needs, the School of Nursing allows students to serve the off-campus community.

From its inception, the school has invested in relationships with regional facilities and hosted outreach programs for rural areas. Today, engaging in their communities remains a primary focus for students. Their work outside the classroom helps them gain practical experience under the supervision of faculty, seasoned medical professionals and, often, alumni.

“As a student, you get to go out to all these different facilities to learn about different types of nursing and work with real patients,” Bergman said. “That experience really helps you understand the career better, and it also gives you an opportunity to practice what you’re learning in classes and hone your skills.”

While in school, Bergman gained experience working with patients in emergency room, psychiatric and nursing home settings. His experience is not uncommon, as students work in community facilities throughout the region.

Beyond the more traditional areas for nursing, WSU also focuses on lesser-known avenues, providing students with unique learning opportunities and fulfilling a community need.

“The great thing about Weber’s program is we don’t just collaborate with hospitals,” Holman said. “We have strong affiliations with other facilities too, like county jails, home health agencies and surgical centers. We try to maintain relationships with all kinds of partners.”

Holman noted that the school’s community engagement is driven by the desire to provide meaningful service to community partners while also giving students practical experience.

Preparing Nurses for Today and the Future (2)“As the faculty and staff in the program, we’re nurses too. So we understand both the benefits and the challenges of working in nursing facilities, which is why we want our students to have those experiences outside the classroom,” Holman said.

Faculty and staff engage with partners in the community to ensure collaborations can continue and flourish. Administrators and teachers regularly serve on local advisory boards and committees, seek and provide feedback regarding student-provider relationships, and continually seek new ways to help foster better community health. The community-centered education ensures students have an easy transition into the workforce, giving them a network of peers, mentors and potential job opportunities before they graduate.

“By the time I started my capstone project, I felt really prepared and had already made so many connections in the community,” Bergman said. “All my teachers made sure I knew what to expect outside of my classes and they were really upfront about the demands of the job.”

Healthcare for the Future

While the School of Nursing is excited to celebrate 70 years of rich history, faculty are also looking ahead to continue building on the foundation set by the early educators.

“It’s important for our students to have good opportunities and intentional learning experiences,” Holman said. “Our goal is to provide excellent nurses that can then benefit our partners and communities long into the future.”

Between teaching and tending to the needs of the school, faculty and staff are planning new programs, updating curriculum and increasing community collaborations. An occupational health nursing certificate is on the way, while a mental health nurse practitioner track is in the planning stages for the doctorate program. The school hopes to add additional specialties as the industry demands, while continuing to improve existing programs.

“The needs of the industry and the community are ever-evolving, so our focus is keeping up with the national needs and training our students for that,” Holman said. “We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve, because we want to continue helping our students be successful while staying at the front line of community needs for the years to come.”

Celebrating Seven Decades of History

Established in 1953, Weber State’s School of Nursing served as a pioneer for two-year nursing degrees, overcoming initial industry worry about the shortened amount of time students spent in class to become one of the leading schools for nursing in the nation.

The first class consisted of 36 women, with only two dedicated faculty to serve them. Today, the school has about 950 students, 56 faculty and multiple degree options.

Thousands of alumni have gone on to successful careers. The school has trained graduates who have served overseas, assisted communities during environmental disasters, and, more recently, aided patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school will celebrate its long history with a 70th anniversary party during the fall 2023 semester. More details will be available closer to the start of fall semester.

Preparing Nurses for Today and the Future (3)
Jill Heiner Garrison Davis (front, center) and her classmates from the School of Nursing’s class of 1955


How do you answer future goals in nursing interview? ›

Nursing Interview Sample Answer

I have a burning desire to become the very best nurse I can be, and I want to work in a company that offers me the opportunity to take on interesting tasks, work with experienced people from whom I can learn, and also develop my overall nursing skills.

What is the outlook for nursing today and in the future? ›

What Is the Current Nursing Job Outlook? As of September 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for registered nurses to increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030, accounting for an estimated increase of 276,800 jobs in the field.

What have you done to prepare yourself for nursing? ›

How to specifically prepare for a Nursing interview
  1. Research the organisation inside-out. ...
  2. Brush up on what's happening in the NHS. ...
  3. Research scenarios. ...
  4. Know your medications. ...
  5. Match your skills to the role – prove, don't claim. ...
  6. Don't forget to listen! ...
  7. Prepare some questions to ask.

What is a good answer for future goals? ›

Examples of Best Answers

My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much value as possible to the team. I love that your company emphasizes professional development opportunities.

What are your future goals example answers? ›

Student/Intern Example

I really want to be a proactive and valuable team member.” Short-term goal: Work in marketing after graduation. Long-term goal: Be a proactive and engaged team member. Action plan: Earn more experience and knowledge in marketing and improve communication and public speaking skills.

What are the 6 C's of nursing interview questions? ›

The 6 Cs – care, compassion, courage, communication, commitment, competence - are a central part of 'Compassion in Practice'. They'll want to know what you think about the 6 Cs and understand how you can effectively put them into practice.

How do you answer the greatest strength nursing interview? ›

How to Discuss Your Strengths in a Nursing Interview
  • Knowledge-Based Strengths: Computer skills, languages, training others, technical abilities.
  • Transferable Skills: Organization, problem-solving, communication style.
  • Personal Traits: Hard-working, team player, trustworthy, calm under pressure.

What is an example of a nursing scenario? ›

Other Common Case Scenario Examples for Nurses

Head Injury (SUBSTANCE ABUSE) Renal Failure (URINARY) New Patient Care (SEXUAL HEALTH) Pediatric Abdominal Pain (GI)

What is the future need for nurses? ›

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 9% job growth for registered nurses (RNs) and 45% job growth for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists between 2020 and 2030. Both percentages are significantly higher than the 8% average growth projected for all professions for the same period.

What is your vision of the future of nursing? ›


Nursing students envision that in the future of nursing, nurses will have the ability and the respect to make greater decisions in the care for their patients. Further, nursing students believe that nurses deserve better work conditions, including.

What is the future of nursing now? ›

The nursing industry is changing at a rapid rate. With shifting technology, an aging patient population and new challenges brought on by federal legislation, the nursing industry is being forced to evolve to ensure that hospitals and other organizations are able to continue to provide the best possible care.

What is the biggest achievement of a nurse? ›

Many nurses say that attaining their nursing degree has been their greatest achievement. Others state that forming a family has been their greatest achievement because it has given them a greater understanding of the human experience.

What is the most important quality of a nurse? ›


One of the most important qualities of a good nurse is compassion. In their career, nurses will see patients suffer. Beyond simply offering a solution, they must be able to express compassion for patients and their families. This allows them to form meaningful relationships with their patients.

How do you make yourself stand out in a nursing interview? ›

Nursing Interview Tips
  1. Know where you're going. Healthcare facilities are often big and confusing. ...
  2. Dress professionally. Professional attire tells interviewers you take them and the job seriously.
  3. Rehearse your nursing interview questions. Don't just prep answers. ...
  4. Pamper yourself. ...
  5. Listen and take notes.
Mar 21, 2023

How do I write my future goals? ›

How to write a career goals essay
  1. Understand the concept of career goals. Before you write your career goals essay, you must first identify your career ambitions. ...
  2. Set goals for different stages of your career. ...
  3. Choose a title. ...
  4. Use the right structure.
Sep 30, 2022

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from today? ›

“I am certain that the coming five years will be productive for me. Working in an esteemed organization with a positive work environment can be rewarding. I can picture myself growing to the position I am working on.

What are your future aspirations and goals? ›

Answer Example: My goal entering the company would be to evolve my skills in a challenging environment, work within a team, and provide efficient solutions. Within 5 years, I aspire to reach a managerial position that will allow me to make crucial decisions while applying my leadership skills.

What are the 4 P's of nursing? ›

It's structured around four themes – prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

What makes you stand out from other nurses? ›

Kindness, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, emotional stability, empathy, and compassion are components that make you human on a personal level and serve you well as a nurse. You exhibit strong communication skills. You communicate well with patients and colleagues — sometimes at their worst life moments.

What are the six 6 nursing core values as a community health nurse? ›

The values were care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment, and became commonly referred to as the “6Cs of nursing”.

What is the hardest part of nursing interview question? ›

The hardest part about answering why you want to be a nurse is that you need to be honest, without sounding trite. “I just want to help people” is a phrase that has been heard far too often in nurse job interviews.

What is a good weakness to say in a healthcare interview? ›

Reflect on your weaknesses

Spending too much time on paperwork. Paying too much attention to detail. Attempting to complete too many tasks at once. A lack of clinical experience, which may apply to recent graduates or new nurses.

What is the best strength of a nurse? ›

What Makes Someone a Good Nurse?
  1. Caring. ...
  2. Communication Skills. ...
  3. Empathy. ...
  4. Attention to Detail. ...
  5. Problem Solving Skills. ...
  6. Stamina. ...
  7. Sense of Humor. ...
  8. Commitment to Patient Advocacy.
Feb 25, 2020

What is an example of a challenging situation in a nursing interview? ›

Sample answer:

Every day I was called or had to go to the facility to handle an issue. It was really stressful because it felt like I was being pulled in ten different directions. Not only did I have to make sure my job was complete, but I also had to be there when something went wrong or if someone called out.

What is an example of a difficult patient? ›

Patients who are angry, frightened, or defensive can present with clenched fists, furrowed brows, hand-wringing, and altered breathing. You'll also probably receive notice from staff about these patients before entering the room.

What are difficult situations as a nurse? ›

Nurses often work 12 hour shifts, and after all the tasks we do on our shift and handover, these shifts frequently end up being even longer. Working such long hours can be physically and mentally tiring, it can affect the quality of care we provide and it can lead to burnout.

How can I be a better nurse in the future? ›

Top 10 skills nursing students need to succeed
  1. Confidence. ...
  2. Ability to connect the dots. ...
  3. Critical thinking. ...
  4. Relation-based care. ...
  5. Leadership. ...
  6. Lifelong learning. ...
  7. Think like a nurse. ...
  8. Work well with colleagues.

What inspires you as a future nurse? ›

Being empathetic and caring towards your patients, and being compassionate about the care you are delivering is key. Having the ability to talk to patients and their families, and support them through their difficult journey, is the important part of nursing.”

What is the future of nursing summary? ›

The Future of Nursing explores how nurses' roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America's increasingly complex health system.

Why is the future of nursing important? ›

The Future of Nursing explores how nurses' roles, responsibilities, and education should change significantly to meet the increased demand for care that will be created by health care reform and to advance improvements in America's increasingly complex health system.

What are the 5 core values of nursing? ›

Caring is best demonstrated by a nurse's ability to embody the five core values of professional nursing. Core nursing values essential to baccalaureate education include human dignity, integrity, autonomy, altruism, and social justice.

What do nurses focus on? ›

Nursing Overview

Nurses promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. They have a unique scope of practice and can practice independently, although they also collaborate with all members of the health care team to provide the care needed by each patient as an individual.

Will there be enough nurses in the future? ›

The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3.1 million in 2021 to 3.3 million in 2031, an increase of 195,400 nurses. The Bureau also projects 203,200 openings for RNs each year through 2031 when nurse retirements and workforce exits are factored into the number of nurses needed in the U.S.

What is the future nurses of America? ›

Future Nurses of America is a club for students of all grades that share an interest in a career in nursing or want to learn more about the nursing profession.

Why is nursing ever changing? ›

Important Ways Nursing Has Changed

Whereas they used to be limited to battlefields and hospitals, nowadays you will find nurses in doctors' offices, schools, facilities, military bases, in patients' homes, and offering help via telehealth services—just to name a few.

What are 3 accomplishments as a nurse? ›

Some potential examples include, but are not limited to: • Engaging in evidence-based practice projects at the unit or institutional level. Engaging in quality improvement programs that bring about change to practice, patient care, or organizational policies. Receiving a research grant.

What are the three key ability of a great nurse? ›

Before starting your career in nursing, you should know the qualities that will make you a great nurse, such as compassion, empathy, and patience to name a few.

What am I most proud of as a nurse? ›

"The most rewarding thing I have found about being a nurse is the personal connection that I am able to make with patients. No matter how long it has been, a patient remembers their nurse. They may or may not remember the nurse's name, but they remember if they were kind and compassionate. A good nurse always is.

What are two most important values in nursing? ›

Nursing is a profession rooted in professional ethics and ethical values, and nursing performance is based on such values. Core values of nursing include altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, honesty and social justice [3].

Who is a nurse in simple words? ›

A nurse is a person who is trained to give care to people who are sick or injured. Nurses work with doctors and other health care workers to make patients well and to keep them fit and healthy. Nurses also help with end-of-life needs and assist other family members with grieving.

What makes a nurse important? ›

From ensuring the most accurate diagnoses to the ongoing education of the public about critical health issues; nurses are indispensable in safeguarding public health. Nursing can be described as both an art and a science; a heart and a mind.

What three words best describe you? ›

Words to Describe Yourself in an Interview
8 more rows
Jan 30, 2023

What is your greatest weakness nursing interview? ›

I'm Too Self-Critical

My biggest weakness is probably that I'm too critical of myself. I want to do the best I can, but sometimes that falls short of perfect. I'm really hard on myself when I'm not perfect and can be too critical, especially with my conversations with patients.

What is your long term goal best answer as a nurse? ›

For many practitioners, a long-term nursing goal is to serve as a primary care provider, following patients throughout the stages of their lives while building a lasting rapport. Many states permit nurses with an advanced education and certification to provide primary patient care services with full practice authority.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in nursing? ›

“Within the next 5 years, I see myself becoming a nurse manager at your organisation. I want to utilise the expertise I have gained in caring for terminally ill patients as well as develop new skills in leadership and people management.

What do you want to accomplish as a future nurse? ›

Some common nursing goals include:

Acquiring skills in advancing technology. Fulfilling continuing education unit requirements (CEUs) Refining interpersonal skills. Honing a specific skill set to an expert level.

How do you see yourself as a future nurse? ›

You can distinguish yourself as a nurse by working on three nursing qualities — confidence, professionalism and teamwork. These are important nursing career pillars, that can assist you in your daily practice and enable you to be proud of your work.

Which goal is an example of an appropriate short-term goal for a nurse? ›

Improve your communication skills. Improving your communication skills is another short-term goal that you can revisit throughout your career, but it may be particularly important for entry-level nurses to be able to converse efficiently and accurately with their patients and supervisors.

What is an example of a long-term goal in a nursing care plan? ›

Goals can be short-term (e.g., resolve acute pain after surgery) or long-term (e.g., lower the patient's A1C with better diabetes management). Then the nurse prioritizes goals based on urgency, importance, and patient feedback. Nurses can also use Maslow's hierarchy of needs to help prioritize patient goals.

How do you answer long-term goals in an interview example? ›

My long-term goal is to manage the sales department at a company. I hope to achieve that by first getting to manage a smaller team within the next two to three years and generate enough results to be considered for department manager after another two years.

What is your greatest strength as a nurse? ›

For nursing applicants, specifically, our experts said they're typically looking for strengths like flexibility, a team player, extremely organized, multitasking, leadership abilities, creative problem-solving, an excellent communicator, or curiosity about learning new things.

What motivates you to be a future nurse? ›

What motivates you? Many nurses are drawn to the profession because of a sincere desire to help others. These professionals can get a renewed sense of job satisfaction very day as they continue to provide caring and compassionate service to the patients to whom they are assigned.

What are the 5 smart nursing goals? ›

What Are Nursing SMART Goals?
  • Be specific. Setting broad nursing goals allows them to be open for interpretation. ...
  • Keep it measurable. For goals to be effective, there must be some way to measure your progress. ...
  • Keep it attainable. ...
  • Be realistic. ...
  • Keep it timely.
Aug 3, 2018


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