Bellarmine University will confer more than 900 degrees this May from bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Collectively, our students' accomplishments are immeasurable. They’ve achieved lofty successes and overcome daunting challenges, even before COVID-19 changed the world and pushed campus life totally online. We're celebrating our graduates with stories that highlight their ingenuity and resilience.
Jasmine Jacobs, Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Bellarmine graduate Jasmine Jacobs finished her degree this spring as she was called to state active duty in the fight against COVID-19.
Jasmine completed the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, a rigorous one-year program, while serving in the Kentucky Air National Guard as an aerospace medical technician.
In April, she joined 230 Kentucky National Guard airmen and soldiers in building a 288-bed site in the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center for patients recovering from COVID-19. The team includes 82 doctors, nurses and medics who stand ready to provide around-the-clock medical care at the facility, should area hospitals reach capacity.
Jasmine, who is now staying at a hotel near the exposition center, said the transition to active duty while finishing her degree was challenging, but she received the support she needed to make it possible.
“I think normally it would have been hard, but I had fantastic instructors that were super flexible with me. They moved my exams, and they allowed me to do my clinical work at times that I was able to do it,” she said. “I think that speaks to the character of Bellarmine and to the nursing faculty, to show that compassion and understanding for a military member.”
Jasmine moved to Louisville about a year and half ago from Utah with her husband. She transitioned from activity duty in the U.S. Air Force to reserve duty in the Kentucky Air Guard. The move allowed her the time she needed to do the Accel program and quickly advance her nursing career.
“I’m a high-achieving person who loves a challenge. If you give me a 12-month program, I’m definitely going to jump on it.”
She hopes to use her new BSN degree to work in the cardiac ICU at a local hospital and continue in the Air Guard as a nurse, as well.
“I definitely want to be a in a field that has the most impact possible, and I feel like the ICU is where that’s at,” she said.
The ICU is an intense, high-stakes environment, but she said the program has prepared her well, and she feels ready.
“The field I’m starting in isn’t going to be easy, but I know this program is one of the most rigorous in the country, and if I can do that, I can go into a rigorous nursing field,” she said.
Jasmine said the move to online learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was disappointing, as she was enjoying interacting and building relationships with her professors. But the transition went as smoothly as possible, she said.
“I want to give a shout-out to Bellarmine as a whole—I think they have amazing faculty,” she said. “They provided a quality education to me. The small classroom sizes really help build relationships between faculty and students, and that brought immense value to my education.”
AT A GLANCE
Hometown: Rupert, ID
Major(s): Bachelor of Science in Nursing (1-year accelerated track)
Internships/work experience: Kentucky Air National Guard, Aerospace Medical Technician, seven years.
Post-grad plans: Employment at Baptist Hospital Louisville in Cardiac ICU; plans to obtain experience and then apply for a Nurse Practitioner or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist program.
Why Bellarmine? It was clear that their nursing program was stellar. This proved to be true with the amazing faculty who provided quality education. The small classroom sizes helped build personal relationships between faculty and students. This all brought immense value to my education experience at Bellarmine.
What’s been your experience? This year has been challenging, but rewarding. Between class and clinical experience, I learned so much and feel ready to begin my nursing profession. The camaraderie of the students in this program helped me push through in the tough times and get to that finish line.
Who made a difference? To name a few: Dr. Lori Minton, Director of Accelerated BSN Program; Mona Psiones, ABSN Student Success Coordinator; Professor Bev Bone, my academic advisor; and Lindsay Gargotto, Director of the Veteran Student Services, along with multiple wonderful professors I had along the way.
What advice would you give to incoming students? For students starting the accelerated program, first, realize that while this program is very challenging, with determination and discipline, it can be done. Enjoy your life, but let your education come first. Build relationships with the faculty and students and lean on each other. You can do anything for a year.