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Pontius ’16 ready for nursing career thanks to Otterbein training

Pontius ’16 ready for nursing career thanks to Otterbein training

Senior Bailey Pontius has her priorities set. As a nursing major and four-year member of the women’s golf team, Pontius needs excellent time-management skills to juggle everything she wants to accomplish.

Her focus in the classroom overlaps into her athletic career. Her accolades include numerous All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) selections and inclusion on both the All-American Scholar list and the academic All-OAC team.  

This spring, Pontius is once again juggling her coursework with her athletic skills. She will compete for the women’s golf team while also completing a nursing preceptorship: 240 hours in the hospital with a nurse.

Pontius is thankful to be a part of the Otterbein nursing program, which is known as a prestigious and intense program.

“Our reputation is very well-known,” said Pontius. “That is one of the main reasons why I came here. We have access to a lot more than most schools do. The simulation lab alone plays a huge role in my learning.”

Pontius is constantly practicing real-life situations in the simulation lab. If she cannot be in the hospital setting, Pontius says the lab is the next best thing. This gives her and other students extra exposure.

Nursing students take several pre-requisite classes and then apply to be admitted into the program. The accepted students have the highest grade point average. Once students are in the program, they are placed in hospitals throughout Ohio. Pontius’s first semester was at Riverside Methodist Hospital. Early in her semester she watched as nurses performed their duties.

“Observing is a powerful thing,” said Pontius. “The little things can make a huge impact and long-lasting impression.”

Pontius thrives on being in the hospital.

“In these real-life situations, you don’t have your book in front of you,” said Pontius. “To be a good nurse, you have to think it through. It’s okay to say that you don’t know an answer. That is a part of the learning and growing process.”

Skills that can’t be taught in the classroom include critical thinking. Students can be good test takers but when it comes down to it, they have to analyze and solve problems immediately.

“Otterbein’s program really allows me to have the opportunity to be a critical thinker,” said Pontius.

The Otterbein nursing program even brings its school spirit into the hospitals. Nursing students wear tan tops, cardinal bottoms and white shoes.

“You can definitely pick Otterbein students out of a crowd or walking down the hallway,” said Pontius. “Everyone knows what program we are from just by looking at our outfits. It actually sets us apart from everyone else. There is a lot more trust between us and actual nurses because they know we come from a program that has had the necessary training.

“Helping to create Otterbein’s reputation feels great. I worked hard to get here and it really paid off.”

Learn more about the Department of Nursing.