By Braedon Martin and Mason Poepperling
Staff writers

The Hutchinson Community College nursing program is one of the best around, even winning the number one ranking on’s best community college nursing programs in 2020. Its quality is clear once you see its size and know its overall reputation.

Beverly Alisha Dewitt, a McPherson native, is just one of the program’s many students.

“When it came down to it and I decided to change my career I looked at a bunch of different places and options. When I settled on nursing, I heard great things about the program.” Dewitt said. “I was just skeptical because I was so much older and going back to school … so I called the college and they set me up some time to talk to Mrs. (Janice) Yoder, and she told me about her journey with nursing and teaching and after hearing her story I had officially decided (HutchCC) was what I wanted to do. And it was probably the best decision I could have made for myself.”

While most students and former students will praise the program, it’s not without its difficulties.

“Some days it’s like information overload,” said Dewitt, who attends nursing classes one day a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To her, finals are “some of the hardest tests I think I’ve ever taken. But it’s worth it.”

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught the world anything, it’s what a real career in nursing is like. Throughout the pandemic people have seen the mistreatment and the sheer overworked nature of the career, and that’s something the program cannot teach.

“It in no way prepared us for what nursing is really like,” said Casey Freeman, a HutchCC nursing alumna. “Experience and actually working as a bedside RN is what prepared me for positions I prefer to work such as ICU and step down positions. Being an agency RN and traveling to different facilities has taught me more than any paid education could.”

“The instructors teach you as much as possible that you need to help prepare you for the different things that will always come your way. It also makes you question what you’re doing and make sure this is exactly what you want to do,” Dewitt said.

In the end, like most things, the HutchCC nursing program prepares its students for the career they are pursuing as best it can, but there are always some things one must learn through experience.

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