Weimar University’s ASN and BSN Programs: Pioneering Holistic Nursing

Weimar University’s Nursing program offers an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in registered nursing. Both programs aim to prepare nurses who will provide the compassionate ministry of Jesus to all people by teaching an evidence-based nursing process and health promotion for the whole person (body, mind, and spirit) across the lifespan.

Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) Program

Weimar University’s ASN program is a 2-year degree (after approximately one year of prerequisites) approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing and thoroughly prepares students to become critically thinking nurses. This degree is organized into two major sections: biological and social science courses and nursing courses. The science courses during the pre-nursing part of the degree lay the scientific foundation for understanding the human body’s anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. The nursing courses cover theoretical content and practical knowledge essential to the skills, practice, and application of theory. In both pre-nursing and nursing courses, there is an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention to administer healing that lasts. The whole-person approach to health prepares students to instill in their patients the importance of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of their health. Various methods are used in the education process, including classroom lectures, simulation manikins, both in-person and online interactive learning, in-person clinical rotations, and group projects.

One of the main goals of the ASN program is to prepare students for eligibility for the NCLEX. Weimar University’s faculty takes time to focus on students’ individual development, mentoring, and taking a personal interest in the success of each student. They believe effective teachers demonstrate patience and caring through a living connection with Jesus. The results of this belief have manifested in students’ success in their NCLEX exams. In the last seven years since the opening of the nursing program, 94% of Weimar University Nursing ASN graduates have passed the NCLEX on their first attempt, and 100% of all Weimar graduating nurses have eventually passed the NCLEX and are licensed registered nurses.

After passing their NCLEX, Weimar University associate graduate nurses are highly sought after by employers due to the unique and comprehensive education they received at Weimar. They are found to be effective in assessing, analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating medical, nutritional, and lifestyle strategies to restore the health of their patients. As a result, many graduates gain access to high-paying jobs. All graduates of the programs are currently working as RNs or pursuing their BSNs. “I’m excited to see my workplace hire more nurses from Weimar University,” says Michelle Byrkit, a relief charge nurse in the ICU of Auburn Sutter Faith Hospital near Weimar University. “Nursing graduates from Weimar University stand out for their eagerness to learn and keep improving in the workplace, as well as for their compassion and commitment to providing personalized care for patients of various backgrounds. As fatigue and burnout have become nearly the norm throughout healthcare, it is refreshing to see nurses with a strong sense of purpose to care for others.”

Another focus of Weimar University’s AS in Nursing degree is preparing students to be health evangelists in their field. Health promotion combined with nutritional and lifestyle interventions in the treatment of disease is rarely if ever, taught in a nursing program. However, Weimar University’s Nursing department believes that all nurses should be educated in health principles and remedies that are often superior to traditional pharmaceutical or surgical care. Students learn the importance of hydrotherapy, diet, and lifestyle in their Weimar education. Aspiring nurses are also taught how to assess and enhance their patients’ spirituality. Using their knowledge of health and nursing, they can care for patients’ physical needs while counseling them to improve their spiritual health. Weimar University’s nursing graduates are trained to give especially gentle care to patients nearing the end of their lives.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program

Weimar University’s second nursing program is the BSN program, which can also be obtained as an AS to BSN bridge. The BS Nursing program prepares nurses for Public Health Nursing, Lifestyle Medicine, and Health and Wellness Coaching certifications. This program aims to further train registered associate nurses in scientifically proven natural remedies, preventative medicine, and whole-person healthcare. It prepares each graduate to be board-eligible for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine boards in addition to receiving their BSN. This bridge BSN program is offered three days per week and accommodates working registered nurses. It prepares nurses to promote and teach lifestyle measures that treat and prevent disease. During this program, students gain experience in shadowing the NEWSTART Lifestyle Program and the Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program. These programs heal many people each year and enable students to witness firsthand the transformative impact of the knowledge and techniques acquired in their coursework. This experiential learning gives nurses a comprehensive healthcare perspective and prepares them to teach their patients how to improve and maintain their health.

BSN students also have the opportunity to learn more deeply about lifestyle medicine. In classes such as “Intro to Chronic Disease,” students delve into the study of prevalent chronic diseases and acquire invaluable disease diagnosis, treatment, and reversal skills through hands-on, simulated patient scenarios. In courses such as “Optimize Your Brain,” taught by WU president Dr. Nedley, students learn simple lifestyle measures to improve cognitive and emotional intelligence and prevent and reverse our nation’s most prevalent diseases. Many students have come to Weimar specifically to learn from these classes. Furthermore, the curriculum challenges students to grapple with profound questions, as exemplified in courses such as “Issues in Origins,” where they critically analyze the history of scientific inquiry into our planet’s origin and examine interpretations of the fossil record and genetic code/translation to see how the Bible record stands in the light of natural evidence.

This program will also prepare registered nurses to become leaders in community and hospital facilities and is the ideal BSN to enter graduate-level nurse practitioner programs.

Financial Advantages

A recent survey of all seven years of Weimar’s nursing graduates, including the recent graduating class, revealed that over half of Weimar nursing graduates now have a household income greater than $100,000 a year, and 23% have a household income of over $150,000 a year. Weimar is situated where the nurses earn the highest salaries in the nation. Because of that, there are thirty RN applications for every job opening in the region. Because the job market in this region is very competitive, most who apply for higher-paid nursing positions do not get them. The reputation of Weimar’s nursing program is strong amongst regional hospitals and clinics, and our applicants have a significant advantage when applying for the most competitive salaries. However, a Weimar nursing education is also an excellent avenue for volunteer mission nursing. The same survey revealed that Weimar graduates have the lowest student debt, making it possible for Weimar graduates to choose to volunteer as nursing evangelists around the world. Those with higher student debt can quickly pay off their debts, most often within a year of graduating.

Who should attend Weimar University’s Nursing programs?

The Weimar University Nursing Program is the most comprehensive nursing program available, uniquely designed to train students to heal a hurting world. Enoa Duga-Duga, a current nursing student, says, “The Weimar University Nursing Program has allowed me to discover new heights in what I can achieve, and I thank God for how He has led me here.”

Conclusion: Preparing Graduates to Heal a Hurting World

Weimar University’s Nursing Program is not only approved by California’s Nursing Board but is also approved by Weimar’s accreditor, WSCUC. Additionally, both the BSN and ASN are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) making all graduate level nursing programs available to qualified Weimar graduates.

Weimar’s nursing program is a unique degree designed to prepare students to be professionals in the nursing field who offer patients total healing. A low student-to-faculty ratio ensures personalized attention from our highly experienced faculty. In addition, students also learn about the fundamental principles of human health. They can see these principles firsthand in rotations in on-campus residential lifestyle programs and in hospital clinicals. Beyond a traditional nursing education, students gain practical skills in healing and witness the profound impact their knowledge can have on individuals who have not previously encountered such wisdom and care. Classes that unite religion and health prepare students to bring healing in the fullest sense. Graduates from Weimar University are genuinely prepared to go forward with the knowledge and experience to heal a hurting world.

Lifespan Development (3 Credits)

From conception to old age, this course explores focuses on the biological, psychological, and social developmental issues and milestones for each stage of the lifespan, paying particular attention to the aspects of context, culture, and environmental issues. Topics include, but are not limited to: parenting style (child guidance), social contexts, social stress, poverty, low educational attainment, abuse and neglect, gender and family issues salient to relationships, separation, nontraditional and blended families and inadequate housing and how these affect development. Issues of aging and long-term care are included.

Moral Identity and Faith as a Counselor (3 Credits)

This course explores the formation of the student therapist’s identity as a counselor within the framework of Christianity and how this plays out in a secular world of counseling. This course presents philosophical and ethical perspectives integral to the understanding of the contemporary psychologies. Students learn how to analyze the ethical bias of psychotherapeutic psychologies, identify their underlying philosophical assumptions, and develop an appreciation for the moral components in individual, marital, and family identity formation. Also included will be a workshop to enhance spiritual development.

Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy: Basic Theories and Skills (3 Credits)

This course develops an understanding of the major theoretical orientations used by current practitioners, focusing on systemic approaches. Theories provide a coherent framework for understanding how people change. This course will highlight the Biblical understanding of how change takes place. This course covers the concepts and techniques associated with the primary theories of counseling psychology: psychodynamic, existential-humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, and post-modern; in contrast with wholistic counseling techniques. Also included are the evidence-based treatments, limitations, and outcome research associated with each concept. The course also highlights cultural and spiritual diversity as it applies to the therapeutic process and awareness of the self, interpersonal issues, and spiritual values as they impact the use of theoretical frameworks. This course also introduces the student to basic skill in attending behavior, clinical interviewing and clinical intervention. Finally, this foundational course clarifies key issues in human nature and prepares the student for developing a worldview that is consistent with their theological and spiritual orientation.

Advanced Counseling Theory (3 Credits)

This course will examine several individuals, and family approaches for counseling. The development of specific behavioral, cognitive, humanistic/experiential, psychodynamic and systemic frameworks will be deconstructed. Student will distinguish Christian approach of addressing individual and family concerns. Students will be involved in experiential activities designed to relate the observation, demonstration and practice to research-based explanations. In this course, we will consider how each approach is used in clinical, school, and marriage and family counseling applications. Training in the use of the therapeutic relationship will be a focus for understanding and intervening with clients.

Group Processes in Counseling (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of group counseling with children, adults, families, and couples. The course focuses on basic group counseling theory including therapeutic group factors, stages of group development, and principles of commonly accepted and research-based group interventions. The course will cover different types of groups, such as support, psycho-educational, and process groups; the tasks, skills, and qualities of effective group leaders; roles of group members; and legal and ethical issues pertaining to groups, group leaders; roles of group members; and legal and ethical issues pertaining to groups. Importance is placed on responsibilities and skills and cultural considerations. Emphasis on small and large group processes and involvement in experiential activities is designed to relate the clinical process to theoretical explanations. Throughout, there is an emphasis on group work within community mental health settings.

Child and Adolescent Counseling (3 Credits)

This course provides an understanding of the broad range of childhood and adolescent problems and maladjustment behaviors. A variety of psychotherapeutic modalities are presented, providing the student with an opportunity to develop knowledge of basic child and adolescent therapy skills, assessments, and treatment strategies. The impact of the development aspects, family dynamics, social environments, and multicultural issues are addressed. In addition, legal and ethical issues and the role of hospitalization are considered.

Addictions Counseling and Treatment (3 Credits)

This course covers the prevention, assessment, and treatment of substance abuse/dependence, behavioral addictions, and co-occurring conditions. Theories of etiology, populations at risk, and the role of persons and systems in supporting or compounding abuse/addiction are discussed. The course reviews the cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects of psychoactive drug use and the impact of addiction on the family system. Best practices for the screening, assessment, and treatment of addictions and co-occurring behaviors are covered as well as community resources for individuals and family members. Additional focus will be placed on developing understanding of Recovery Oriented Care, social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position, and cultural awareness and competencies.

Counseling Diverse Populations (3 Credits)

This course focuses on the intersection and convergence of culture, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, socioeconomic status, religion, acculturation, and chronological age and how these inform effective mental health care. The goal is to increase awareness of multiple dimensions of diversity in order to prepare students to work sensitively and effectively with California’s multi-cultural population. Attention also is given to issues of privilege, marginality, and oppression, including sexism, racism, classism, ableism, ageism, and heterosexism. Theoretical perspectives on multicultural counseling will be examined as well as strategies for intervention and advocacy. This course will focus on eliminating biases, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination. Throughout, effective strategies for communicating about emotionally charged material is emphasized.

Couples and Family Counseling: Post-Modern (3 Credits)

This course continues the study of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals, couples, and families using interactional and brief models. This course provides advanced training in the theories and techniques of modern and post-modern schools of family therapy including Cognitive Behavioral, Behavioral, Solution-Focused, and Narrative Therapy. Also included are the evidence-based treatments, outcome research, and limitations associated with each theory. Specific family issues addressed include: transition to parenthood, parenting young and school-age children, household division of labor, and blended families. Throughout, careful attention is paid to the historical and cultural context in which the theories were developed and the implications for working with diverse populations in recovery-oriented community mental health settings.

Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy: Advanced Techniques (3 Credits)

This course is designed to further develop the psychotherapeutic skills of students prior to their entry into a clinical placement. Students focus on developing proficiency in the core interviewing qualities, deriving goals for a clinical session, and in making contracts with clients for change. Additionally, students are encouraged to begin developing a theoretical and conceptual understanding of cases and trained to work with diverse populations. Students are also encouraged to address issues regarding the integration of their faith with the practice of psychotherapy.

Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families (3 Credits)

This course examines the application of psychological instruments to the assessment of individuals, couples, and families. Fundamentals of psychological assessment are reviewed including standardized and non-standardized testing approaches, basic statistical concepts, and moral, ethical and cultural considerations in assessment. The course will also provide an overview of issues related to cognitive assessment, achievement, aptitude, and neuropsychological assessment. Emphasis will also be on clinical, behavioral, and personality assessment.

Knowing God Better Through Career Development: Theories and Techniques (3 Credits)

This course prepares students to address the intersections of career, values, and life roles in the context of career counseling and responding to career and work-related issues

for majority and marginalized groups. Students will gain core knowledge of major career development theories; examine the implications of sociocultural factors on career development, work transitions, and the career counseling process; gain experience with career counseling assessments and resources; and become familiar with current career development literature.

Crisis and Trauma Counseling (3 Credits)

Students will develop a foundation for assessing and treating post-trauma reactions in adults along with an overview of trauma responses in children. We will begin by reviewing the variety of trauma populations followed by in-depth instruction on the mechanism of development major trauma concerns. The assessment and intervention of post-trauma conditions will be identified. Next, we will address clinical interventions including disaster mental health and exposure-based treatment. Finally, we will review issues affecting therapists working with trauma populations and self-care strategies to prevent compassion fatigue.

Research and Evaluation in Counseling (3 Credits)

The goal of this course is to enable students to become informed consumers of psychological research and to use current research knowledge and tools to improve treatment outcomes. Students will explore methods and issues associated with the conduct and use of research concerning phenomena relevant to counseling psychology. The course provides an overview of hypothesis generation, research design, data collection and interpretation, and utilization of research findings in clinical practice, while considering systemic and sociocultural influences. Students will review seminal research findings including research on specific treatments and common factors across treatments that improve therapy outcome. The course also provides students with assessment tools for evaluating mental health programs and the effectiveness of one’s own clinical practice. Emphasis is given to helping students become knowledgeable consumers of research, including the use of research to inform evidence-based practice.

Clinical Neuroscience and Psychopharmacology (3 Credits)

Fulfills the California Board of Behavioral Sciences requirement for surveying the use of pharmacological agents in patient care. This course provides a basic overview of neurobiology in order to understand the biological bases of behavior and the psychopharmacological treatment of mental disorders. The course includes information about commonly prescribed psychiatric medications for children and adults – indications, contraindications, mechanisms of action, side effects, drug-drug interactions, iatrogenics, and variability related to age, gender, ethnicity, and medical condition. Students will learn how to work cooperatively and effectively with clients, family members, and prescribing clinicians. Additionally, controversies related to the medical model and to specific prescribing practices will be explored.

Psychopathology & Diagnostic Processes (3 Credits)

This course examines the major types of psychopathology. It explores techniques of intake interviewing and determining mental status to formulate a differential diagnosis based upon the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Students will also recognize and understand the controversial history of the development of the DSM. The

course also includes a critical examination of the clinical and experimental literature in psychopathy. Etiologies of cognitive/affective functions and dysfunctions and implications for therapeutic intervention are also addressed.

Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy (3 Credits)

This course will provide students with an understanding of human sexual development with a particular focus upon sexuality counseling from a systems perspective. The goal of this course is to learn about the many facets of human sexuality and the treatment of sexual dysfunctions in a safe and respectful environment. Topics include the physiology, psychology, and sociology of sexuality, including the effects of sexual attitudes and functioning on individuals and families. Gender Identity and LGBTQ and sexual perspectives will be reviewed. Clinical applications, including the treatment of sexual difficulty and dysfunction will also be explored. Students will develop familiarity with the language and terms of sexology and demonstrate an ability to apply this knowledge to clinical situations. Finally, students will explore the above with a framework of Christian compassion and love, exploring how God created sex to be beneficial. A review of AIDS, HIV, and STDs will be given.

Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Counseling (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to the legal, ethical, and moral issues related to the practice of LPCC and MFT in the state of California. This course focuses on contemporary professional law and ethics and moral dilemmas related to counseling practice. Students review statutory, regulatory, and decisional laws related to the scope of therapy practice, including confidentiality, privilege, reporting requirements, family law, and the treatment of minors. Professional codes of ethics (ACA, AAMFT/ CAMFT, and APA) will be reviewed. California law that is relevant to the practice of counseling will be examined including goals and objectives of professional organizations, standards of training, licensure, and the rights and responsibilities of professional counselors. Case examples will be discussed. Consideration is also given to the student practitioner’s values and behaviors, especially in relation to becoming a Christian therapist.

Practicum in Counseling (6, 3 per term)

The purpose of this course is to develop counseling competencies when working with a variety of clients with unique presenting concerns. Specifically, the focus will be on your ability to engage your clients in treatment, establish a working alliance, identify dysfunctional patterns, and use either general strategies or ECBIS strategies to facilitate change. You will work toward the development of a personally acceptable and professionally effective style of establishing and working in helping relationships. We will work toward helping you to examine your behaviors and rationales and to modify for greater effectiveness.

Course Prerequisites:
This is the terminal course for the program and will run concurrently with a weekly seminar that will address issues in counseling practice.