Labouré launches Bachelor's in Healthcare Administration, a flexible, fully online BS completion program. $1000 scholarships available, restrictions apply.
Lifelong nurse, Kechi Iheduru-Anderson, DNP, RN, CNE, CWCN began her career in her native Nigeria and quickly discovered that she not only loved caring for patients but also felt called to work with students. “I’ve worked in home care, hospice, acute care, employee health and clinical nurse education. My first job working with students was in Nigeria working with them during their clinical labs and offering student mentoring. I’ve always had a rapport with students because I feel like I understand them,” said Iheduru-Anderson.
Embracing Cultural Diversity as a Cornerstone of Excellent Nursing
Before coming to Labouré College, Iheduru-Anderson was professor of nursing at Quincy College and also served the interim dean for academic services and interim director of nursing program for a time. She also served as an unofficial mentor to students of color. “It makes a difference for minority students to see someone like them in a leadership or faculty role. I encouraged students to come see me- my office is open. I try to use examples that students from different backgrounds can understand better and relate it to their own cultural experiences. I’m very approachable when it comes to students,” said Iheduru-Anderson.
Cultural competency is something that Dr. Iheduru-Anderson sees as a key component in patient care. “It’s a journey, not a destination. Nobody’s perfect and people change, but having self-awareness and developing the skills towards cultural competence is important. It requires deep self-reflection in everything you do. For every student, it’s important to understand the patients’ choices and preferences and their cultural identity. Giving generic instruction to your patients won’t work, but when you can relate your instruction to their own culture you can achieve better care,” said Iheduru-Anderson. “When you truly listen to the views of other people, then hopefully you can understand where that individual is coming from.”
Iheduru-Anderson came to Labouré College because of its commitment to offering educational opportunities to a diverse population of students and its close community. “I’m a small college girl because I don’t want to get lost in the crowd. I need to know the people I work with and the students I teach. I want to recognize my students after graduation,” said Iheduru-Anderson. Dr. Iheduru-Anderson received ‘the excellence in nursing education award’ from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Massachusetts in 2016. This award is presented to a member of the ANA Massachusetts who demonstrates excellence in nursing education.
The BSN Creates Opportunity for Nurses
As Labouré College’s Assistant Chair for the RN to BSN program, Iheduru-Anderson says the faculty work diligently to keep the curriculum relevant for students. The hybrid program offers, “the best of both worlds. Students get the opportunity to interact and meet with faculty and students two or three times during the semester and the flexibility of completing most assignments online. The program is built around working people while still offering guidance and support. Faculty are always available to speak with students and the response is very quick,” said Iheduru-Anderson.
The BSN has gained a lot of notice over the last two decades and it’s for good reason. “Healthcare is changing and studies show that BSN prepared nurses are able to provide evidenced-based care to their patients. The BSN also creates a lot of opportunity for the students to get the full benefit of their nursing career through career paths in leadership, education, and research. If you want the flexibility and the ability to work in any healthcare environment, you need the BSN,” said Iheduru-Anderson. While the associates degree in nursing builds the foundation of nursing practice, the BSN offers students a broader picture of healthcare and a chance to develop the critical thinking and leadership skills they can immediately apply in their jobs. “I was a better nurse after I completed my BSN,” said Iheduru-Anderson.
When asked about what’s next for the College’s BSN program, Iheduru- Anderson said they are looking to expand and develop the program while still maintaining a keen focus on student engagement and satisfaction. “My students are my patients. The same way I put patients first, I put my students first in academia,” said Iheduru-Anderson.