“I Care:” the mission of Ashland University nursing


Gracie Wilson

The Dwight Schar College of Nursing provides students with hands on experience to prepare them for their future.


Integrity, caring, accountability, respect and excellence. The core values of the nursing program line the steps in the nursing college. Students are reminded of what it means to be a nurse as they head to their next class.

Students rush into lectures and simulation labs as they are granted the opportunity to practice for their clinicals and then their career as registered nurses.

The Ashland University Mansfield campus is home to students who are pursuing degrees in Nursing and Health Science and prepares them for what lies ahead.

The mission of the college is to educate individuals to become healthcare professionals, Doctor Juanita Reese Kline, chair of the nursing department said.

A part of this mission is to instill in the students the “I Care” values that they should utilize in their careers as nurses. They begin with integrity and build from that baseline.

“Integrity is the foundation,” Kline said. “All that we do as nurses begins with integrity.”

The values also act as a selling point to students hoping to pursue an education at the campus.

“I like the fact that they instill the ‘I Care’ values in all of us,” Rachel Cline, a sophomore nursing major said. “It’s the foundation to help us be better nurses.”

Cline is planning to attend the Mansfield campus for nursing next year and build on what she has learned thus far in her education.

The college not only teaches the students these values, but also other necessary skills they will need for their futures.

The goal is to educate students in providing safe and appropriate patient care, Kline said.

The college accomplishes these goals by offering students technology for practice in simulation labs and professors who can share their experience with future nurses.

“They have a wonderful program,” Hannah Frost, a junior nursing major said. “When I was looking for a specific school, my major thing [was] I want direct admit and a good Nclex passing rate.”

Gracie Wilson
Everything the students need is provided for them on campus from their classes to their housing.

AU boasts a high passing rate for the Nclex exam that students are to take at the conclusion of their schooling. A major part of their schooling is preparing for this exam and the years to come as a nurse.

“I love caring for people and I’m learning a ton,” Frost said. “I never thought I’d be at the place I am even today.”

The simulation labs are one of the keys to the nursing college program. The simulation or “sim” labs allow students to have close to real life experiences in patient care.

“[It is] very much like what you would find in a real clinical setting,” Kline said.

The students use their time in the lab to learn about possible outcomes of situations and practice on mannequins that act as patients.

The mannequins blink and breathe and you can hear the sounds coming from them, Frist said.

These lifelike mannequins provide practical experience for the students, however, the professors are the ones who provide students with the information they need to succeed.

“Our instructors are awesome,” Frost said. “They all have really cool backgrounds so it is cool to hear their stories and learn from their experiences.”

The more students progress in their education, the closer they are to feeling more like the nurses they aspire to become.

“I think we learn the most in our complex medical surgery class,” Tim Stone, a senior nursing major said. “When you’re done taking it, you start to feel like you’re a nurse and can do the job.”

Having the opportunity to move to the Mansfield campus allows students to be surrounded by people who are taking the same classes and majoring in the same field.

Students who move away from AU main campus to Mansfield have found that being there has enhanced their experience as nursing students.

“It’s super nice, I didn’t want to have to commute. I have class here every single day, I don’t have one thing that I need to go to main campus for,” Frost said.

The campus includes two buildings of apartments to house the students that attend classes on the campus. The apartments include a kitchen, two bathrooms and air conditioning. While these perks are a selling point for the students, their decision is based on the college itself.

“I actually picked here because I toured [the nursing college] my senior year and fell in love with it,” Frost said. “That was after I fell in love with main campus also.”

The main campus acts as a stepping stone for students to later go deeper into their field at the Mansfield campus.

“I’m really excited to get more of that hands-on experience,” Cline said. “It will help me get a sense of what I’ll actually be doing. I’m excited to learn more about the field.”

Another part of the nursing curriculum is clinicals, which allow students to go out to hospitals and nursing homes. They work with actual patients and train to one day have a full-time job.

“I think the most important thing is just getting out in the field and starting to practice,” Stone said.

Clinicals allow students to see how actual medical institutions operate and give them a glimpse into the rest of their lives. For some, the job is the perfect balance because it offers something new each day.

Stone knew he did not want to sit behind a desk at a computer, rather he wanted to be on his feet and do something different every day.

The job of a nurse is an active one, and one that is often changing. One of the big changes that has occurred more recently is the appurtenance of more male students in the field.

Gracie Wilson
The Mansfield campus provides apartment style housing for its students.

“It’s definitely unique,” Stone said. “All of us just kind of stick together.”

The program at Ashland is more female populated than male, however, it does not deter the students from going out into clinicals and preparing for the future.

“A lot of the time you run into a problem where you are out in clinicals and patients of the older generation do not really believe males should be nurses,” Stone said. “Other times there are patients who enjoy seeing us there.”

The students at the AU nursing college are preparing for their future together, whether male or female, they are all on the same team with a similar goal.

“It’s pretty much like a little family,” Frost said. “That’s just how the atmosphere is. We are super tight knit.”

The Mansfield Nursing College lets students prepare for their career after college by allowing them to have hands on experience, high tech lab practice and relationship building with one another.

“I hope to be a great nurse and for people to trust me and be confident in my skills,” Frost said.