Luther Himsel felt called to become a nurse for a while, so pursuing a Second Degree BSN was a good fit for his career goals.
Changing Careers from Program Director to Nurse
He and his family had been living in the metro Milwaukee area for a while. While working at a local school district as an aquatics director, he realized that he wanted to change up his career. With the hopes of nursing school in his future, Himsel had taken sciences courses at a local technical college in order to be prepared for when he’d make his move. Thankfully, Himsel found Concordia University’s Second Degree Accelerated BSN program.
When asked why he wants to be a nurse, Himsel drew inspiration from his faith. “I really wanted to live out Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself. When I thought about where I could do this best, being a nurse seemed to make the most sense.” Himsel was looking for opportunities where he could show mercy and compassion while working directly with people.
On a more practical level, Himsel was also looking for a career that paid well. “Nursing pays well. When you change careers and start at the bottom of the pay scale, you need to be able to support your family.” In addition to a fair and favorable salary, nursing jobs are in high demand. “I like the idea of being able to go anywhere and find work,” he said.
Why he chose Concordia University
“I looked at all of the schools in the area. I left the tech school because it would have taken the same time to get an associates’ degree. Plus, employers like to see a BSN,” Himsel stated. While other universities in the area offered similar accelerated programs, Concordia had the quickest path for Himsel.
Himsel began at Concordia University right before the COVID-19 pandemic caused universities to transition to virtual learning. When reflecting on that transition, Himsel remarked, “The professors are all very flexible with us. Almost all of us have families, and even those who don’t are still going through life transitions and working full-time. When something happens in our personal lives, the professors care, and they truly care about our success.”
Himsel comes from a teaching background himself, and he’s been impressed with his professors’ instructional abilities. Possibly one of the most important things a professor can be is accessible, something Himsel said is true of all of his professors. Classes have weekly check-ins, but some professors will check in more than that. If they aren’t able to connect immediately, they always respond within 24 hours. “Our professors are always asking for feedback. It shouldn’t be surprising, but they actually listen, and they make changes!” Himsel said.
Himsel shared that he likes his clinical and lab times the best, saying that he looks forward to every single session. Just because he’s passionate about what he’s learning doesn’t mean that it’s easy all the time. For example, Himsel described one really hard day in the lab when he felt like he was messing everything up. “My clinical instructor was really able to turn it around and make a great learning experience,” he said.
It’s normal for students to fear making mistakes, but we know that when you make a mistake, that’s a great opportunity for learning. “We learned quickly that our simulation labs are not ‘Gotchya’ labs. Our professors are really supportive, and they’re there to help you learn from your mistakes.” Himsel believes that his instructor could have used this one bad day in the lab to weed him out of the program. Instead, the instructor leaned in and coached him through his mistakes, better preparing him as a future nurse.
Knowing His “Why”
Himsel shared that this program is challenging and can be really demanding at times, but his calling to be a nurse is so strong. Having a strong “why” to get you through whatever program you pursue is a must. For Luther Himsel, that “why” is that he trusts in God’s promise to be with him. And that same promise is true for you, too. So, what’s your “why?”
What is the Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program?
Graduates of this program earn their bachelor’s in nursing in as little as 14 months. Students who enter this program already have a bachelor’s degree and are seeking a career change. You can learn more about this program by visiting our website.
Did Luther Himsel’s Uncommon Story inspire you? If you want to talk through your career goals with one of our Inquiry Support Specialists, click here to book a call. No matter where you are in your Uncommon Story, remember that you have the power to write the next chapter.
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