Ava Lewis is a professor of nursing at SVSU. She currently coordinates and teaches Nursing 484 (last clinical class nursing students take) and teaches the nurse practitioner capstone project.
Her teaching philosophy? "I see the student as a co-learner, and my expertise supports them in their learning. I believe in community service, so my students are going to see service tied into their learning and training."
Dr. Lewis works collaboratively with such regional hospitals as St. Mary's, Covenant, Bay Regional and Mid Michigan and also works with the Detroit Medical Center's Childrens' of Michigan and Detroit Receiving Hospital. Here, six to seven nursing students are matched with a BSN and eventually assume the work, learning in such areas as medical surgical units, emergency, acute geriatric care and pediatrics. "Our students are matched one-on-one and receive 172 hours of clinical practice; they are really learning the continuity of care."
When asked why a parent should be interested in SVSU's nursing program for their child, Dr. Lewis says there are many reasons. She starts with the fact that SVSU's program is competitive, classes are small, the clinical experience is outstanding and employment outcome is high. Beyond these reasons, she adds a few: "Our students are prepared as generalists and we emphasize a community focus. They will care for folks in a range of community settings." Lewis also notes that SVSU stresses evidence-based practice. Here, students are not just taught the skill set, but the critical thinking to understand the theory behind the practice. Further, she offers that the faculty in the nursing program are readily available to their students. "We have office hours for them and my students even have my cell phone number."
Regarding the new College of Health and Human Services building scheduled to open in Academic Year 2010-11, Lewis offers more reasons why SVSU should be closely looked at by parents and students. "This will be a state-of-the-art, "green" facility with computer labs, simulation and skills labs. And, our students and faculty from various disciplines (nursing, occupational therapy, social work, kinesiology) will work together, just like in the real world. You collaborate all of the time in the real world, so will our health and human services students."