Learning Beyond Nursing

A picture of Jo Anna Aalbers

Jo-Anna arrived at Dordt excited to earn her degree in nursing and meet new people. During her time at Dordt, she grew as a student and built strong relationships.

“The crazy hours and difficult content was intimidating at times,” she says. “But it shaped me into a more organized and focused student. I had a couple classes that really were not my strong suit, like statistics, but I learned to use the resources around me like the AEC tutors. As a senior I was given the opportunity to give back by being a tutor myself, and it was really encouraging to look back on how far I had come academically in four years.”

When she was not busy with nursing school, Jo-Anna participated in many on-campus activities, taking advantage of Dordt amazing community. She signed up for tons of activities, including PLIA, swing dance, and Concert Band. One of Jo-Anna’s favorite memories is touring Germany, Austria, and Hungary with the Concert Band and performing in cathedrals.

“I loved going on and later being a part of the planning committee for PLIA, which is a club that organizes spring break service trips,” she adds. “I also participated in swing dance, bible studies, intramurals, and went on spur-of-the-moment weekend road trips with my roommates.”

After graduating, Jo-Anna began working at the Sioux Center Health Hospital as a registered nurse on the MedSurg and labor units. Soon, she will be training to work in the emergency department. Jo-Anna loves the diversity of experiences that comes with working in a small-town hospital.

Jo-Anna is grateful for how her time at Dordt has shaped her. She has become more articulate and willing to share her ideas and opinions, and thought critically about her faith and beliefs.

“Group discussions and late-night bathroom-counter-talks with my friends were incredibly formative in helping me better understand other viewpoints from people with very different backgrounds,” she says. “Dordt also gave me a lot of opportunities to learn both how to serve and to lead, which has made me more confident and willing to get involved in my community. I have gained a lot of practical knowledge about how to be a good nurse, but my experiences at Dordt go beyond just my nursing career. I have been equipped with a solid background of being able to engage with others who hold a different opinion than me while still listening, learning, and caring for them. I'm excited to take these skills into wherever life leads me.”