Following its recent campus Career Forum, the College’s Office of Career Advisement sponsored a talk and Q&A last weekend for students who are considering a career in nursing. Charlene Niemi, RN, MSN — the College’s nurse and a member of the nursing faculty at California State University, Channel Islands — spoke to a roomful of students eager for her expertise and counsel. Nurse Niemi discussed the various nursing programs that are available to college graduates, as well as the best way for Thomas Aquinas College students to make use of their liberal arts degrees in applying for such programs.

“When I went to nursing school, I had to take some philosophy and religion classes, and I kept thinking, ‘Why do I have to keep taking these kind of classes when all I want to do is be a nurse?’ I thought that these subjects had nothing to do with nursing,” Nurse Niemi said. “How wrong could I have been? I am dealing with people’s spiritual beliefs, their struggles, their pain, their emotional pain. By having become more broad in my scope of knowledge, I am now better able to help other people. You already have that broad scope of knowledge just by going here.”

Stressing the need for well-educated, compassionate nurses, Nurse Niemi strongly encouraged interested students to enter the profession. “When TAC students become registered nurses, you bring such a gift, just by the nature of how you think and discuss,” she said. “The ability to discuss and argue amongst each other enables you to articulate in situations, such as when you have family members who really don’t understand what is going on. To be able to pass that knowledge on to someone, so that they can understand and articulate it well, that is a great benefit of this education.”

In the upcoming weeks the Office of Career Advisement has similar talks planned for students who are considering medical school and for those contemplating a career in media.