by Teresa M. Araque

Gone are the days when nurses weren’t permitted to perform such basic functions like take a patient’s blood pressure. Only doctors could do that.

Today, nurses are a major part of healthcare, whether the setting is in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic. The educational requirements for a nurse in most settings is to have earned the Registered Nurse (RN) designation. With the advancement in technology and treatments for patients, nurses now need a higher level of education.

Hodges University offers that path with the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN). While there are other nursing programs in the area, the BSN program at Hodges University is accelerated, and catered to adult learners.

“Our nursing students will graduate a full semester faster than any other BSN program in the area,” said Dr. Jessica Palumbo, RN, BSN, MSN, DNP, Director of Nursing. “That means our graduates are educated, trained and ready to make a positive impact quicker. In addition to their classwork, they also apply what they’ve learned through simulated scenarios. We video the scenarios and play them back so that we can talk about what went right and what needs improvement. It’s a valuable tool because it also prepares our students for clinical rotations.”

The program is designed to accommodate adult students with classes in the evening and clinical rotations on the weekend.“Our nursing students are taught using the evidence based practice. With this foundation, our students learn how to assess and treat patients on a deeper level,” said Dr. Palumbo.

“They also become teachers by teaching their patients and their family members what they need to know for follow-up care.” As people live longer lives, they may also get sicker and have to manage more chronic conditions. Nurses play a large role in teaching their patients how to manage their health, and the importance of follow-up care.

The profile of a nurse has evolved over time. Centuries ago, they were mostly men who would take care of family members and close friends. Florence Nightingale revolutionized patient care with clean environmental practices which increased the survival rate of patients, especially soldiers at the time, and opened doors for women to have careers outside the home.

Now the pendulum is shifting back with more men entering the nursing field. The career options that nurses now have has expanded to include the ability to be a travel nurse around the world. Additionally, nurses can continue their careers by specializing in fields that include critical care, anesthetist, advanced nurse practitioner, midwifery, neonatal and medical/surgical.

The first nursing class at Hodges University will graduate in May, ready to make a positive difference in the lives of their patients and their families.

Hodges University is hosting BSN program information sessions from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 4 and on Tuesday, May 14. Additional information is available by visiting the nursing page at or by emailing Maria Vacca at

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