What it Takes to be One of the Best

Garrett Stafford, Features Editor

The Nursing Department has always been one of the most prominent programs here at Piedmont College and they have the stats to back them up. RegisteredNursing.Org ranks Piedmont’s nursing program top 10 in the state with a 94.17 score, and CollegeFactual.com also put Piedmont in their top 10 list for the state of Georgia. 


“Our program is rigorous” explains Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences, Julia Behr when asked what it takes to keep such a high reputation. “Attendance, dress code, preparation, communication, teamwork, and meeting deadlines are all integral components of being a successful professional RN. We instill these values and expectations from the very first semester in the program.” 


Two aspects that Behr credits for the success of the school of nursing are the alumni and the faculty. She keeps in contact with many students after they graduate and as they go on to become registered nurses, through this contact she’s able to find out what is especially important to know in the real world so she can ensure her department teaches the students about it. This would not be possible without the faculty.


“It is really our faculty who make this program the success that it is today,” said Behr, “Their willingness to evaluate student learning outcome data to drive decisions, close connection with students and advisees, and their incredible dedication to preparing future nurses to their full potential is really what sets Piedmont College apart.”  

COVID-19 has proven to the world how important the health industry is and that should not be taken for granted. Piedmont’s Nursing Department was hit especially hard because students stressed about getting their clinical hours in. Clinical hours are working hours outside the classroom at hospitals and doctor offices to gain real world experiences. 


“They are experiencing all that comes with being in clinicals, like the emotions involved caring for a dying or abused patient. This has been especially challenging during this COVID-19 pandemic describes Behr, “There is added fear and concern about simply being in the clinical site with patients.” 


A department is nothing without its students and the School of Nursing can only be successful if the students put in the work inside and outside the classroom. Catherine Wynn is a nursing student at Piedmont with an especially impressive merit under her belt, starting “National Wear a Mask Day” and getting attention from nurses all around the world. 


“We are proud of all of the students who use their own initiative and hard work to effect change or bring awareness to nursing and health related concerns” said Behr when asked about Wynns. “Her feature on Fox 5 Atlanta highlighted the importance of everyone wearing a mask to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”