My draft to NAU

I don't know how to start, build, or end my letter to NAU.

How about I begin with flattery.

Dear NAU,

Thank you for all that you have done for my family during recent years. It was at your fine university that I met my husband. We both graduated from your institution. You also employed me for a number of years. On of my brothers is currently in the midst of his higher education experience at NAU. My oldest sister also obtained her masters degree from NAU ...

Maybe that would work.

I could start more abruptly though.

Dear NAU,

I'm writing to address a powerful concern I have with your institution, specifically the School of Nursing, or as they call themselves, NAU SON.

Right, like the school of nursing is a direct descendant, the SON, of NAU, rather than part of a whole.

But how to proceed?

Recently my husband was admitted to your post-bac fast track nursing program set to begin May 10, 2010.

I think the rhyming will at least keep them interested.

We were elated to receive the large envelope. Everyone knows the small envelope is instant disappointment while the large envelope is elation.

If they're Gilmore Girls fans, this will build camaraderie.

While we have applied to two other schools, the invitation from NAU to join said program was a relief. No matter what else the other schools said, we knew my husband would be attending nursing school somewhere. And that somewhere was NAU, a program we anticipated and admired.

Yes, continue with the flattery so the upcoming bashing won't hurt as much.

However (isn't there always a "but" in one form or another?), upon recent correspondence with NAU we discovered that we had been deceived.

"Lied to" seems a little too harsh; "deceived" is a little more professional.

The program my husband originally applied to was 18 months in length. We have now been informed that the entire SON fast track program has been shortened to a mere 12 months.

(Insert gasps and hands covering mouths and other such exclamations.)

12 months to train up medical professionals in their career paths. 12 months to teach tomorrow's care providers how to aid the sick, the elderly, the suffering, and the infant. 12 months to teach valuable skills. 12 months to teach proper bed side manner. 12 months to learn these skills and prepare for a future in the health care field. And learn all this online?

Nursing instruction ONLINE? How does that make sense to anyone??

12 months to cram in all the required clinical hours? 12 months to become estranged from your family and friends. 12 months to invest in a perpetual stock of Visine for blood shot eyes.

I am not writing to say we are not up to the challenge. I am writing to say that I believe you have made a serious error in judgment. Shortening your program to pump out as many professional nurses as you can, as quickly as you can, while sitting back and laughing as they scurry like rats is unconscionable. Nothing about this recent program change is smart. Nothing about this change will enhance the quality of health care in our country. If anything, you're going to churn out students who cannot even pass the exit exam.

Is it getting to rough? Sometimes you have to speak your mind! I guess they can refer back to the first paragraph to console themselves later.

I predict your newly structured program (which this class of students did NOT apply for but was bamboozled into joining) will fail in a few short years. You may lose your accreditation.

I pray my husband is granted entrance into our top pick school and that circumstances are such that we can accept their offer of admission. If not, I suppose you may see us in the fall, slightly broken, wholly nervous, but determined to make the best of your poor decision. Or we may have become so entirely appalled by these changes by the start date that my husband will work as a CNA for another semester and apply to another school for the spring. We have options, you know. Most of them are looking better than taking part in your sour program.

Good luck in all your future endeavors. Wish us the same. I know we'll need it, thanks to you.

Too harsh? Too whiny? Just right? Honest, at least.


The Browns said...

WOW! that is insane that they have a program like that! Makes me really scared about ever going into the hospital.

kelly said...

Welcome to the club! It's really frighting. If Ted doesn't get into EA we're most likely going to just stay in Flag for another semester, he'll work as a CNA, and then re-apply to CCC and EA for the spring. So, I reeeeeeeeeeeeally hope we get into EA. I can't stress that enough. NAU is not on our happy list right now. Did I make that totally clear? ;)

Jewel said...

Ugh. EVERYONE is trying to save a buck these days. That really does make me nervous to even go to a do they expect to really train a nurse in 12 months? Ridiculous.

Your letter was perfect. Or maybe even not harsh enough. Sheesh.

kelly said...

OK, to be fair, know that you have to have all your pre-reqs completed prior to getting into this particular program - anatomy and phys 1 & 2, all your biology, pathophysiology, statistics, psych... all that jazz. And you have to have you bachelors degree done. But STILL!

mary watts said...

I say Bravo...print and send! Really you should.

Heather said...

Could I love this post more? Doubt it. I know the point is about what you were saying, but I can't help but comment on the mode you used to say it. I loved the twist you used on the open letter. The open letters are so overdone on blogs these days that they don't really make the point anymore, but yours was fresh and BAMMED me. Just as it should. Excellent writing and creativity is all I'm saying.

Back to the point:

NAU - you are poops.

Amy said...

Can you say budget cuts?

It really is scary what they are proposing to do, 12 months, ONLINE!? The one online class I took I did not like! (Remember my not so happy commentary?)

I'm with your mom. Sounds like a good letter to send to me!

kelly said...

awh, thanks heather. i considered the over use of the open ended letter. it's grossly over used. thanks for picking up on my spin. :)