Smile! Your Patient is Jesus Christ, Say Raven Nurses

Jordan Bittner knows patients need smiles. She learned that at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

“I came to Benedictine because, visiting campus, everyone was smiling!” she said. “They were so welcoming toward me.”

Jordan is a Junior in the Nursing program at Benedictine College. During her college search, she wanted a place that offered nursing and supported her in her Catholic faith. She enjoys nursing because, though difficult, “you get to work on things in college that help you to make a meaningful difference in life.”

She has embraced the Benedictine College mission of community, faith and scholarship: She came to Benedictine College to play volleyball and made friends through the team, and she leads a Bible study on campus. As for scholarship, she participates in a nursing program that has recently been named a top 50 nursing school in the Midwest by Nursing Schools Almanac.

The newest addition to the program: The nursing department in the last year received a $30,000 grant from the Kansas Board of Regents. This grant allowed the nursing department to receive a robotic baby that can be used in the lab setting as part of simulation teaching. During simulations students are able to work with life-like mannequins. Some of the features of the baby include: the ability to breath, audible heart sounds, and palpable pulses.

Jackie Harris, the chair of the nursing department, said that personally, she is “most inspired by how our graduates and so many other health care workers put their patients’ needs before their own. These individuals are the hands and feet of Christ.”

The college’s nursing program is housed in the Mother Teresa Center for Nursing and Health Education, which was opened on Mother Teresa’s 100th birth anniversary in 2010. The college unveiled a statue of Mother Teresa at the building on the day the Albanian nun was canonized in 2016.

“I can think of no better model to give our nursing students and no better message to send them,” said President Stephen D. Minnis. “Every day, when our nursing students enter through those doors, they will see that beautiful image of Mother Teresa caring for a child and read the words: ‘Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love.’”

Jackie said they take the motto seriously. “The Benedictine College nursing program prepares students to take care of the whole person: body, mind and spirit,” she said. “Our students and graduates are trained to respect the intrinsic dignity of the patient and embrace Benedictine values.”

Benedictine College nurses were in the spotlight for heroic service during the Covid 19 pandemic. Kit Johnson summed up Raven nurses’ attitude in the crisis: “You just have to remember that you’re taking care of Christ.”

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