by Anissa Oceansey
Imagine simulations of pregnant women, a critical math test on the first day of every new semester, and strenuous hours of studying the human body and all of it’s functions. The future of life saving nurses begins in Palomar College’s classroom HS-200
Palomar’s nursing program just closed out their application period for fall entry. The competitive program typically receives a large volume of student applicants each year in comparison to its limited seating. Family nurse practitioner, and the department chair of the nursing education department, Dr. Julia Robinson, noted that one of the biggest challenges the program faces is availability.
“Within an application period, we could have two to three hundred applicants, and can only accept 36,” Dr. Robinson said. “We’re always looking for ways to expand the program to produced more qualified nurses” Robinson expanded.
Palomar has many exceptional well known transferable programs for students to immerse themselves in, from digital broadcast arts, to woodworking and the nursing program is no different. Palomar’s good name rings far for students looking to advance their career after they graduate.
“One of the most valuable things about the nursing program is that Palomar is very reputable” Raymond Valdivia said, who is in his second semester as a nursing student.
Dr. Robinson highlighted the dedication of the students is mirrored by the passion and skill of the instructors within the program. Faculty in the nursing department are often working beyond their typical work day to enrich and ensure student success. Instructors often stay late after their shifts have ended to help students with their studies.
“We have such dedicated instructors. They’re highly educated, and have been a part of the community for years.”
The nursing program is comprised of a vigorous curriculum that includes intense hands on training. “I study for 4-5 hours a day,” noted Valdivia. “ I’m trying to work in pediatrics. I was able to volunteer in a clinic down in Belize. I would love to continue to do humanitarian work” Valdivia expressed.
Student nurses pair up with trained nurses and go on assignments to medical facilities such as Tri City hospital where they have the opportunity to plan, and provide authentic nursing care. Palomar’s facilities include a state of the art simulation laboratory to stimulate patient situations in a safe, controlled environment.
Nursing department chair Dr. Julia Robinson expanded on the high tech amenities available to enhance student engagement. “We have pediatric, adult, geriatric, and even birthing simulations to emulate a clinical setting”, Dr. Robinson said.
To be considered for the nursing program, students must complete rigorous science prerequisites including: Microbiology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, and biology along with various general education course. Once the coursework is completed, the nursing program utilizes a point system to determine which applicants to accept.
Although the nursing program is difficult to get into, nursing student Juvelyn Ingal commented on how difficult it is to stay afloat once admitted.
“I’m in my last semester, and one of the most challenging things is to see your classmates work so hard, and they don’t make it all the way,” Ingal said. “You’re with the same 35 students for two years, so we really form a bond. We all feel the same pressure. Everyone is always on edge, but we support each other.”
Nursing is more diverse than people think, and extends beyond the hospital setting. Once admitted into the program students get training that can apply to numerous branches of nursing such as bedside care, clinical nursing, management, and academia.
“It truly is a calling” says Dr. Robinson. “You have to have that spark inside you that really enjoys what you do.”