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Aug. 31, 2016

Randolph Rasch: Limitless thinking

Aug. 31, 2016

Randolph Rasch is the dean of the College of Nursing and professor of nursing. He is a fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, a distinguished scholar in the National Academies of Practice and has worked as a family nurse practitioner for more than 10 years. At the heart of his drive is the knowledge that the nursing profession is poised to have a significant impact on health care delivery. His research efforts have been in the areas of primary care and community health; specifically analyzing the roles, functions and appropriate skill mix for all levels of the profession.

The coming of this new school year is analogous to the Red Cedar’s action on the MSU campus. Just as the water flows easily downstream until merging with the rapids, students transition from the summer lifestyle to the academic rigor of higher education.

This year, Michigan State University’s College of Nursing students return to their productive grooves that make success in a demanding program possible. Attending class, clinicals, simulations and study-groups, Spartan Nurses handle the load of their undergraduate responsibilities with an unrivaled poise. As the dean of the College of Nursing and a lifelong learner and educator, I speak – from experience – about new beginnings and all things that come with taking the steps in accomplishing a difficult task. The commencing of the new school year will both excite and frustrate; in times of frustration, it is essential that we react with a “can-do” attitude.

Always remember that we are blessed with extraordinary capabilities, and we can positively respond to stressful times. The key to success is to remember the end outcome we have in mind. What will it take to earn your spot in the College of Nursing? To see your name on the dean’s list? To get into graduate school?  I have used this reminder to help me achieve my personal goals.

tile that says, "Move Forward. Be Adventurous in your problem solving. Pursue Limitless thinking.

Our end outcomes can be made real if we take advantage of the opportunity in front of us: today.

Taking advantage of today doesn’t mean merely waking up and going through the motions. Handling today’s evolving health care challenges requires us to adopt the mindset of an artist. Insatiably curious and undoubtedly creative, an artist isn’t afraid to outstep boundaries if it means the accomplishing of your end goal. The artistic process requires brainstorming, thinking “outside the box,” and “editing” the new ideas developed for application. Innovative, versatile methods of health care delivery are required to tackle the field’s most daunting issues.

Move forward. Be adventurous in your problem solving. Pursue limitless thinking. Adapt to the ever-changing environment; the sooner you begin thinking of yourselves as creative, clinical problem-solvers – the better.

While you’re working to realize your goals, I’ll be making an effort to create a more streamlined College of Nursing. The new school year excites me as it comes with the opportunity to continue building on what we’ve accomplished as Spartan nurses. I’m looking forward to greeting students, welcoming new faculty and sharing our vision with all College of Nursing affiliates.

These are the most exhilarating years of your life. Greet every morning with gratitude – many would love to be in your position. It’s not “I have to go to class,” rather, it’s “I get to go to class.” By fully using the whole of your time and resources as a Spartan nursing student in higher education, you are positioning yourself for a successful career. With the dawning of a nursing shortage, you have never been more valuable. Realize your value. Embrace your workload, knowing that your efforts will soon be tested outside of the classroom – in real life situations, with real life outcomes. For the patients and clients, we serve.


Reprinted with permission from the College of Nursing