Stritch nurses gain experience at Lighthouse community

Monday, February 11, 2013 2:05:00 PM

Eight Stritch students in the BSN Completion program are participating in a new partnership, developed by one of Stritch’s very own.

Terry Lawrence, M.B.A. ’06, is the vice president of health and wellness for New Perspective Senior Living. In this role, Lawrence is responsible for the wellbeing of residents and staff at the organization’s 10 Lighthouse senior residence communities throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa.

In 2012, Lawrence contacted Stritch’s Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing to propose a partnership. Both Lawrence and New Perspective Senior Living wanted to support continuing education, and his relationship with the University made Stritch a natural choice.

“As a Stritch alumnus, I understand and appreciate the University’s foundation and values,” said Lawrence. “I also know the reputation and respect that Stritch has earned in the business world.”

The partnership launched in Fall 2012 at the West Bend Lighthouse community with eight Stritch nurses from the Population-Focused Care course. As students in the
BSN-C program, the individuals are already registered nurses and are able to independently perform many health care functions.

In addition to their time spent at the West Bend Lighthouse community, the students participate in a classroom component, taught by assistant professor and BSN program chair April Folgert.

“This partnership really allows our students to experience a broader perspective of health care,” said Folgert.

Typical responsibilities for Stritch’s nurses include chart reviews, audits, and working closely with New Perspective Senior Living’s medical staff.

One of the partnership’s primary objectives is to help the students develop strong leadership skills. Lawrence works closely with the nurses on self-assessment, as well as policy and procedure examination.

“Our students really enjoy the experience,” said Folgert. “They appreciate having input into the program and feel valued by the Lighthouse residents and staff.”

Lawrence responded that the feeling is mutual.

“I am truly impressed by these eight nurses,” said Lawrence. “Their clinical competencies are exceptional, but I’m even more struck by their energy and attitudes. The nurses are eager not only to learn about the industry but to make lasting contributions.”

Both parties look forward to continuing the partnership and preparing Stritch nursing students to become leaders in health care.