Mission Guests Receive Care from Bushnell University ABSN Students

Partnership between Bushnell University’s School of Nursing and the Eugene Mission for the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Clinical Placement Site

Eugene, OR – Bushnell University has a growing partnership with the Eugene Mission through a clinical placement site for nursing students. This partnership, which started earlier this spring, is providing students in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real-world setting that serves a tangible need in our community.

This partnership was developed through the energy of former Dean of Bushnell’s School of Nursing, Dr. Linda Veltri and Eugene Mission Executive Director, Sheryl Balthrop. Ginger Banks, the placement site coordinator and ABSN nursing faculty member, explains: “When Dr. Veltri and I visited the Mission for the first time, staff showed us to a bank of rooms that had tables, chairs, and computers in each. Along with these rooms came the promise to open the doors to whatever resources they had on hand to make the spaces more nurse-centric to provide care.”

One of the ABSN students, Aryahna Converse, shared her experience: “At the Mission, my priority has been establishing relationships with individuals of all health backgrounds. I engage in thorough discussions about their past healthcare experiences to identify needs. I have been able to help with increasing their knowledge of resources, chronic illness management, and overall mental health needs.”

Another student, Rachel Meighan, shared her experience connecting with a guest living with type 2 diabetes. “After I built rapport, the guest was open to receiving education about nutrition. I was excited for an opportunity to talk about what I am passionate about! This all came about from initially building a relationship and trust.”

The Eugene Mission has been rescuing, revitalizing, and restoring guests since 1956 byproviding basic needs and care through the Rand the Life Change Programs. “We are not a homeless shelter in the traditional sense. While we certainly provide our guests with food and shelter – and do so with an abundance of God’s love – the Eugene Mission’s ultimate goal is to provide holistic, long-term solutions that lead to the long-termwellness of our guests in Eugene/Springfield,” says the Eugene Mission’s website.

“We are thrilled with this new partnership with Bushnell University and look forward to welcoming their ABSN students into our facility,” said Sheryl Balthrop, Executive Director at Eugene Mission. “This collaboration will help us continue our mission of providing exemplary services to our guests while also giving students the chance to gain valuable experience working in a real-world setting.”

Ginger Banks has played an important role in the integration between Bushnell and the Mission by providing leadership and role modeling for the nursing students as they serve the needs of the guests and Mission community. Students have contributed in a multitude ways and have helped guests and co-workers alike. Students have done everything from developing safety policies to implementing an electronic health record system. Additionally, students have created health posters that provide guidance for living a healthy lifestyle.

“The word has traveled fast,” said Ginger Banks. “The Mission guests and staff have opened their arms and hearts to all the nursing students. You can imagine that in a population who have been marginalized, ignored, and invisible to many, these guests have the opportunity to educate our students…I have seen both students and guests flourish through the exchange.”

Aryahna Converse says she is happy for the connections she has made at these nursing clinical sites. “Population health clinical sites have allowed me to build relationships with different populations within the community. Many of these sites have encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and push aside previous assumptions about nursing practice.”

Rachel Meighan stressed the importance of letting the guests be heard. “Put simply, a foundational need that nursing students can meet at the Mission is actively listening to guests’ stories. We offer compassion, support, and value when we listen to individuals. This often gives us information about lifestyle habits and health history, enabling us to care for guests holistically.”

Dr. Gayle Roux, Interim Dean of nursing, emphasized, “Bushnell University is committed to preparing its nursing students for success by providing them with hands-on learning opportunities that will help them develop the skills they need for their future careers. The ABSN students have supervised clinical experiences in hospitals such as PeaceHealth and McKenzie Willamette as well as in many community outpatient locations. Lane County Health Department, PeaceHealth Home Health and Hospice, McKenzie Willamette Wound Care, and Lane County Jail are just a few of the other comprehensive field placements for ABSN students.”

This new partnership with Eugene Mission is just one example of how Bushnell is working hard to ensure its nursing graduates are well-prepared for their future roles as nurses. Bushnell University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing(ABSN) program helps fill this need for Lane County specifically, and the state of Oregon as a whole.

The ABSN program at Bushnell University is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and are looking to transition into nursing. The program is offered on campus and can be completed in as little as 12 months. Through this new partnership, students will have access to clinical placement locations like the Eugene Mission, which provides housing and other services to those in need. To learn more about all our School of Nursing programs visit our website bushnell.edu/nursing or call 541-684-7201.

To schedule an interview with faculty, administration, or recent graduates please contact Lars Coburn, Director of University Relations at 541-684-7320.

About Bushnell University

Founded in 1895, Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.

Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant University District. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through course formats on campus, online, and hybrid. More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.

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