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Guest Blog: Finding the ‘What’


Rachael Grenfell-Dexter

After deciding to attend Vanderbilt, I felt like I was constantly asked how I knew it was the right choice, or what made it the school for me. At the time, I would have rattled of some student-teacher ratio, talked about the academics, and maybe jokingly thrown in something about the weather. However, as a junior, my answer is completely different.  Looking back I realize those things were great, but, newsflash, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of the program you’re going into. Lucky for me, I have always known I wanted to be a nurse practitioner, and Vanderbilt has provided me with an amazing opportunity to become just that. The funny part is, I did not even know if was an option as an incoming freshman! In fact, the Nursing School may actually be one of the best-kept secrets at Vanderbilt. What a lot of people don’t know (I used to fall into this group!) is that students have the option of entering this graduate school program as a senior. Basically, students do 3 years of undergraduate and then go directly into 2 years of grad school. The other option is to go the traditional route and enter after completing 4 years of undergrad, which is great too! The best part? You can major in WHATEVER you want as an undergrad. While I chose Child Development, as I knew I wanted to go into Pediatrics, I know others who have majored in numerous other things, ranging from theatre to economics. There are a handful or pre-requisites you have to complete, such as Anatomy and Physiology, but they are manageable with whatever major you may choose. This freedom is something that a lot other schools don’t offer, as students must take pre-nursing classes with only a few elective here and there. As a Vanderbilt Nursing School student, you are also able to choose your area of specialty upon applying. These include Pediatrics, Adult, Acute Care, and Midwifery, just to name a few. Also, did I mention it’s one of the best Nursing Schools in the country?

I could go on and on about why I love the nursing program at Vanderbilt and why it is an amazing opportunity for students, but the purpose of this post was really to just make y’all aware of the program. If you are at all considering going into the healthcare field, I strongly suggest you check out Vanderbilt’s Nursing School. If you simply mention it to an academic advisor they will be more than happy to provide you with more information and, should you decide to choose this track, work with you to ensure you meet all requirements in your undergraduate career so you are able to apply as either a junior or senior.


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