Welcome to St. John’s College of Nursing. I am Dr. Charlene Aaron and I am pleased to serve as the Chancellor of St. John’s College, the oldest Catholic hospital-based college of nursing in the United States. Nursing has been taught here for 133 years! Everyone I talk to in the Springfield area, tells me how much they enjoy being cared for by a St. John’s nurse.
Our nursing school was started in 1886 by the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis. Over the years the school developed according to the needs of the community, so the Sisters and lay faculty responded by advancing the curriculum to allow the program to move from a diploma program to a Baccalaureate degree program in nursing. In May, 2019 the college graduated five students from the inaugural Master’s program. Those graduates received a Family Nurse Practitioner certificate. The college also offers an administration /leadership track in the master’s program. The advancement of programming demonstrates how we carry on the legacy of nursing education started by our founding Sisters of St. Francis.
St. John’s College’s mission is what draws students and retains faculty and staff. We carry on the mission of the Sisters to adapt to the needs of the community and ensure we are educating our students to practice nursing with a foundation in spiritual, ethical and professional development. Prospective students come to St. John’s College because of our mission. Our expert faculty and staff are retained here due to our mission. We are invested in your academic success and will provide you the social, emotional and spiritual support you need to become the next generation of St. John’s nursing graduates.
We have an aggressive initiative to increase diversity in the student body, faculty and staff. We are following a diversity plan with strategies to not only increase diversity, but to also establish programming and activities for teaching/learning about underserved populations, different cultures, races, religions and how they view health and education. I want everyone who is contemplating a nursing education to know that St. John’s College is welcoming to everyone.
The faculty use innovative teaching strategies as they are all using smart technology in the classroom and simulation laboratory. Our patients are coming to us sicker than ever before, therefore, it is critical to have the high fidelity manikins available to our students so they can practice in acute care situations in a safe environment. We have a state of the art simulation laboratory equipped with high fidelity manikins that can be programmed to simulate any given health condition. This is important because it allows faculty to place our nursing students in care situations they may not ever get to experience with real patients in the hospital or community setting. These learning opportunities foster communication, teamwork, critical thinking and sound decision- making. This type of active learning is critical for nurses, as they begin to enter the workforce, so they are better prepared to function independently.
Our commitment to excellence, ensuring our students are successful in achieving their goal led us to develop the Pathway to Success (P2S) program. We recognize the transition to nursing school can be challenging for students as the rigor, curriculum and testing methods are unlike many other collegiate programs. Since 2013, students enrolled in P2S are provided group and individual learning sessions on study skills and test-taking strategies beginning with orientation and throughout the school year. Success plans are tailored to the student’s learning style. Our facultyare informed by data from risk assessments to provide intrusive advising and student support.
St. John’s College graduates have 100% job placement and input from employers are favorable to say the least! Our graduates are prepared for the current state of healthcare. Our graduates are prepared for providing acute care and community-based care. I encourage you to search our website @sjcs.edu to look at our programs and extra-curricular activities such transcultural nursing trips to Ecuador, Wooden-it be Lovely painting, and working with the sisters and volunteers at Mission Outreach. There are so many opportunities for St. John’s College graduates. Please look at our website at sjcs.edu and choose St. John’s College of Nursing for our high quality nursing education.
Dr. Charlene Aaron