As president of Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Addison, IL campus, Janet Snow, PhD, RN is able to help shape the minds of the next generation of nurses. Through campus-wide initiatives and her own personal interactions, Snow works to make an impact on each student to ensure they graduate as an extraordinary nurse.
Her drive for this goal is born of her own experiences as a nursing student, a practicing registered nurse and as a nursing educator.
At a young age, Snow knew she wanted to work with children and be a pediatric nurse. Like many of her students, Snow’s interest in nursing came from her mother. “My mother was a nurse, so I had a great role model for entering the profession. And I hear that every day from our students here, too,” she said.
Snow’s own story as a nursing student started at Rush University Medical Center (Rush) in Chicago. There, she earned a nursing diploma and soon after attended one of the first RN to BSN programs in the nation, at the University of Illinois Chicago campus.
Embracing her love of education and nursing, she went on to earn her masters at the University of California and set out to find her first teaching job. And although she was willing to head wherever the best opportunity may be, it just so happened that that opportunity was back in Chicago, teaching at Rush.
This return would become a fortuitous one for Snow, because working just a couple of units over from her at Rush was Susan Groenwald, the future president of Chamberlain College of Nursing. This shared experience would help lay the framework for Groenwald and Snow’s future collaborations in launching Chamberlain’s first Chicago-area location in Addison, Illinois.
When Snow came to Chamberlain, she was charged with launching the Addison campus, Chamberlain’s first Chicago-area location in a northwest suburb. This marked the third Chamberlain campus nationwide, following St. Louis and Columbus.
This campus, like the others, would adopt a culture known as Chamberlain Care. Everyone at Chamberlain believes that by meeting the needs of students through actions, expertise and resources, the faculty and leadership can prepare students to become compassionate, extraordinary nurses who can transform healthcare.
For Snow, the first cohort of students through the Addison campus offered a chance to show Chamberlain Care in action.
“Many of the first students were not aware of Chamberlain and the program, since it was all new. But when I look back, I remember how we told them what everyone at Chamberlain believes, 'You’re going to be the best nurse you can be.' And they were. They went on to do extraordinary things. It was in their minds that they could become nurses. We told them, 'We aren't going to let you graduate if you are going to be just any nurse, you are going to be extraordinary.'”
At Chamberlain, being an extraordinary nurse means being more than just competent and capable, it means going above and beyond as a professional, collaborative team member and explorer with a focus on lifetime learning. It’s a heightened level of patient engagement and compassion.
And that same Chamberlain mindset towards care that Snow shared with her first students still perseveres throughout all of Chamberlain today. Snow says that for each class that comes through, they explain to students how Chamberlain offers a unique model that is focused on providing students with the tools and resources to be successful. “We create and maintain positive learning environments. We work to foster the compassionate and caring piece of nursing. We also focus on patient-centered care and treating the whole person; communicating with patient and loved ones; providing patient education and giving them options for treatment and prevention.”
This idea of a "unique model" is manifest in an Addison campus’ program which offers students additional support by providing the tools and resources needed to be successful, and is the foundation of Chamberlain’s academic success model nationwide.
“Though not all students require additional support, for those who do, we offer the Chamberlain Care Student Academic Success model providing additional student support and resources,” said Snow. These resources include tutoring through the Center for Academic Success as well as career planning and resume tools from the career services department.
These students are enrolled in a structured engagement program of remediation, faculty support and encouragement and student accountability. Since its inception, 230 students have been admitted who were previously dismissed or withdrew from other nursing schools. Of those, 94 percent passed the NCLEX the first time*, a rate that is significantly higher than the national average of 84.93% among BSN candidates.
An emphasis on students
As a testament to her love of educating future nurses, Snow’s time with Chamberlain has been highlighted by her focus on students and helping them achieve success. She was instrumental in launching a highly successful campus, contributing to a culture where Chamberlain colleagues are focused on student success and providing support throughout their entire nursing program. And as evidence of her dedication and success through Chamberlain, her student satisfaction rates are elevated compared to industry averages. This continues a trend of positivity that carries through to their work ethic and level of care after graduation as extraordinary nurses who will transform healthcare.
*Based on the cumulative pass rate of students in the program to date until June, 2014
By Ryan Segovich
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