• By Lauren Reeves

Senior spotlight : Jack Schaefer

Minot State’s nursing department offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for prelicensure students, a RN to BSN Online Completion Program for registered nurses (RNs), and even a minor in health management science for non-nursing majors.

One student in particular has been a part of the program since he stepped on campus and has always had a passion for helping others. Jack Schaefer is a senior who will graduate this spring and has enjoyed his time in the program.

“I knew that I wanted to be a healthcare worker from the start, but I wasn’t aware of how vast the scope of nursing practice really was. Completing my education at Minot allowed me to be placed in a variety of locations where we are exposed to many jobs and roles nurses have in modern society,” Schaefer said.

Lots of schools and programs around the nation have been impacted due to COVID-19. One thing that changed for the nursing program at MSU was the limited accessibility students had to real-life experiences — for example, losing time in the hospitals while COVID-19 was spreading. That also includes the experiences and memories they didn’t get to make with their classmates in the classroom.

“The main thing that has changed since COVID-19 is the splitting of class sizes and social distancing. This basically means you don’t get to interact with your peers as much, which in my case is a bummer because we all graduate this May and it feels like we haven’t seen each other in a year,” Schaefer said.

Although COVID-19 changed the standard for school, work, and life in general, it has also opened up many opportunities and changed people’s paths because of the hard times they’ve gone through. COVID-19 has shown that anything can happen at any moment. Schaefer has realized that and is excited for what his future holds.

“Because of the massive shortage of nurses in healthcare, one thing nursing students know is that being able to find a job is a safe bet. In my case, I am interested in pursuing a doctorate degree as a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist), which has been my goal since the beginning and is part of the reason I chose nursing as my career. In the meantime, I accepted a job in a critical care unit in order to gain experience and eventually pursue that goal,” Schaefer said.

Four years ago, Schaefer decided to study nursing to pursue a career in the anesthesia field. In the past five semesters, he learned basic skills and theories and now is knowledgeable in more advanced in-depth content.

“There is definitely a lot to learn but the teachers are always there to help. One of my favorite teachers is Carrie Lewis, nursing instructor, who has always been lively to be around and someone I stop by to see whenever I am on campus,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer is excited to start his career while also completing another big step in his degree plan: obtaining his doctorate degree as a CRNA. He will cherish his memories and the people he has met during his time at Minot State.

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