FastBacc® program at the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing is an intensive one-year commitment to becoming a nurse in an accelerated pace. Getting to know the incredible faculty that teach this revered program makes the educational experience even better. Meet Beth Hultquist, PhD, RN, CNE, FastBacc® Coordinator at the LHSON.
What is your role with FastBacc®? Why do you enjoy teaching in this program?
I am the FastBacc® coordinator. I took over this role in the fall of 2014 and I love it! Prior to Baylor, I taught at two different ADN programs and I started working at Baylor in the fall of 2012 when my family relocated to the Dallas area. I began by teaching clinical for FastBacc® and was quickly drawn to these students. FastBacc® attracts a dedicated, goal-oriented student who is adept at managing the quick pace!
Describe why you became a nurse and a professor in the field?
I graduated from a BSN program at the University of Nebraska and then entered active duty as an Army nurse. I spent four years on active duty, which I consider the best decision I have ever made. The Army taught me how to be a team member and lead teams, gave me the opportunity to specialize as an intensive care nurse and emergency room nurse. The lessons I learned as an Army nurse have been formative in my growth as a nurse and an educator. I started teaching certification courses (BLS, ACLS, PALS, etc) and in our daily work as Army nurses teaching is a large part of our responsibilities to our team. When I left Active duty, I worked part time, spent some time as a mom, and came back with an education focus. I was actually living in Mexico with my family and started to help in an international nursing program. It solidified my desire for graduate school so I could make a difference in the next generation of nurses.
Why did you decide to teach at Baylor?
When my family relocated to the Dallas area, I began to research nursing programs. Baylor stood out head and shoulders above the rest. The unapologetically Christian focus was a huge draw for me. Also, Baylor’s commitment to classroom learning and the expectation of intentional student relationships to mentor the next generation are ideals which I am passionate about.
Describe how a FastBacc® student/grad exemplify LHSON’s motto, Learn.Lead.Serve.®?
FastBacc® students and alumni are a driven community. Students pick FastBacc® because of our intentionality with faith and community experiences. Our students and graduates exemplify service to others and leading in their communities because those are the very reasons they succeed in the FastBacc® program. One of my favorite times of the accelerated year-long program, is in the spring. First, because I teach one of the final courses in FastBacc® and I love to teach in the classroom. But the other reason is FastBacc® preview night in late February and Orientation during finals week in May. These are very busy times for the students and then we are welcoming the new cohort. We always need student volunteers. And when we ask, we always have more volunteers than we need. Think about that. Current students, during the hardest months of the program and they want to give back to the next cohort, answer questions, offer advice, etc. And the reason it means so much, they do it for no reason other than they want to help the next group be successful. It means so much to us in the FastBacc® leadership group.
How do you think the FastBacc® program strengthens further nurse leaders?
FastBacc® graduates enter the program with experience as a college graduate, most have previous work experience, and many have other advanced degrees. This level of commitment is attractive to employers. Frequently, FastBacc® students find themselves in leadership roles quickly after starting in the profession. This varied background and experiences strengthens the nursing community as a whole. Solutions to our current health policy issues requires diversity of thought and the ability to problem solve – characteristics ingrained in our FastBacc ® student and graduates.
What advice would you give someone considering the FastBacc® program?
Talk to our admission counselor, Elaine Lark. She has wealth of information regarding admissions and timelines for admissions, etc. We have a lot of FastBacc® graduates who are willing to talk to potential applicants. They are happy to answer questions, honestly! We have fantastic graduates who are willing to give back to the next cohort!