Tim Hinsken — Featured Story

“There is truly not a thing I would change about my journey here at Niagara. I have met some of the most amazing people, and have had such incredible experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything.”

Tim Hinsken, ‘23, shares with us his experiences as a nursing student on Monteagle Ridge. Hinsken is a junior in the four-year B.S.N. program in the College of Nursing at Niagara.

Looking back to when you were a prospective student, what about Niagara’s nursing program stood out to you?

First, Niagara nursing students are accepted directly into the nursing program, which means we don’t have to fight for a spot into the program with our fellow students. As such, we all form one big cohort and are all here to help each other along the way. Second, we start nursing courses our first semester here, and are already in the clinical setting our sophomore year. Finally, the small, close-knit atmosphere makes it easy to make friends and for the professors to get to know you personally.

What made you decide to pursue nursing?

I was never sure what I wanted to major in, and thought about several options before ultimately choosing nursing. Along this decision journey, I had several experiences of family members having to be in the hospital, including my grandfather going through cancer treatment and hospice, as well as the premature birth of my nephew and his time in the NICU. Having gone through these and seeing how the nurses interacted and cared for my family during this time helped me realize that nursing was the profession I wanted to pursue.

What experiences have you been able to partake in so far during your time in the nursing program?

In our program, we have numerous opportunities to not only learn about the different body systems and how to care for different patients, but to have hands-on experience starting our freshman year. We begin skills lab our freshman year, which is where we get to practice skills such as inserting IVs, doing bed changes, inserting foley catheters, and so much more. We start clinical rotations our sophomore year, and also begin simulation labs. Through clinicals and simulations, we have the opportunity to experience practically every area of nursing and encounter numerous different situations, patients, and diseases.

What are some invaluable nursing lessons you have learned that you will carry with you into your career?

My clinical instructors teach me different approaches to the same situation, which teaches us to always have an open mind when approaching a patient and to think of all the different ways one task could be carried out. My classroom instructors have taught me to never stop learning, always ask questions, and most importantly always be an advocate for our patients. There are numerous other lessons I have learned, and each professor we encounter helps us become a better nurse and better person overall.

How have you been able to get involved in campus life outside of the classroom?

I am involved in many different areas on campus. I am currently a community advisor in O’Donoghue Hall and I will be a lead community advisor in Seton Hall next year. I am also the president of NU Soar Throats Acapella, a member of the Student Nurse Advisory Board, the volunteer coordinator for the Student Nurse Association, and a tour guide in our Admissions Office. In the past couple years I have also been a tutor for chemistry and med/surg, as well as an orientation leader. So while you may be told by some that nursing school is nothing but studying, there are opportunities to get involved across campus, which I believe is a crucial aspect of the college experience.

Learn more about how Niagara University’s College of Nursing can help set you up for success as a future nurse.