Jan. 11, 2010 – A SHU Nursing Milestone

First Nursing Students Begin Classes


The first class of Siena Heights University Bachelor of Science Nursing students: Front row (from left): Kyle Bond, Christopher Rising, Brittney Singleton, Andrea Ferguson, Lynne Blocksom, Carrie Kostanko, Myranda Collins, Stephanie Waters; Back: Pamela Pittaway, Jamie Marihugh, Brian Stricklin, Mary Starinki, Samantha Wolford, Catherine Gray, Derek Chaffins, Lauren Kurtz, Chelsea Gonzalez, Nicole Hughes, Jennifer Heineman and Scott Langley.


Jan. 11, 2010, is a significant day in the history of Siena Heights University – it is the first day of nursing classes! The students have completed a minimum of 45 hours of pre-requisite courses in the sciences, English, mathematics, humanities and the liberal arts, earning their way to being admitted to the nursing major. When finished with their nursing program classes, these nursing students will have earned the Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN).


Twenty Siena Heights University students are enrolled in the new nursing program, which will be a five-semester, 78-hour program in nursing coursework. These 20 BSN students represent diverse backgrounds with the following characteristics:

·        five are males (25 percent of the class, much higher than the national average of 10 percent)

·         four are students who already hold bachelor’s degrees in another area

·         nine are students who work in health care settings as nursing assistants or health care aides

·         six are Siena Heights student-athletes in basketball, volleyball, track/field and baseball


An “Orientation to Nursing School” occurred in the Siena Nursing Building on Friday, Jan. 8. Students were asked to describe “What does it mean to be in nursing school?”

Comments included:

  • “Privileged”
  • “I am fortunate to be here “
  • “I want to learn from people who have the same values as me”
  • “I am excited to be a Siena Nurse”
  • “I think morals and values will make the best nurses and that is what Siena Nursing represents”
  • “I believe we will come out above the rest”
  • “I think the faith behind what we learn will strengthen us”

These new students will join those already enrolled in the first Siena nursing program, the RN to BSN degree completion program. Siena Heights was approved in 2008 to educate licensed registered nurses to complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. All Siena Heights Nursing faculty hold Master of Science in Nursing degrees, and two faculty are PhD prepared.


“The faculty are very excited to be teaching the new nursing students, and will continue to educate registered nurses in the BSN degree completion program,” said SHU Director of Nursing Dr. Sue Idczak. “Today represents seeing a vision of Siena Heights University become a reality, as well as 2½ years of proposals, approvals, and accreditation site visits culminating in the start of the pre-licensure nursing program. I am extremely proud of the work of the faculty and students. The vision and prayers of the Siena community and Adrian Dominicans have been blessings to the nursing students, faculty and staff.”


“I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally see this day come to fruition,” said SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD. “The hope that these future nurses hold for our community and our world is so needed. We are so grateful to have a program of nursing that is holistic in nature. This will make a big difference in how our graduates approach patients in the future.”


For more information concerning Siena Heights University Nursing, please visit www.sienaheights.edu or call 517-264-7131.


Meet Siena


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Carlos Granados

Engineering major, International student from Venezuela, Bowler, Adrian Campus

Faculty & Staff

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Gail A. Ryder

Associate Professor of Humanities


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Amy Francoeur '09

RN to BSN graduate; Hospice Regional Director, Great Lakes Caring