School of Nursing & Allied Health

The News Magazine of HCU

Past, Present, and Future

 “Partnerships with hospital systems provide students the chance to interface with the hospital leadership.”
Dr. Rhonda Schumann

The Past

Houston Baptist  University’s  School of  Nursing & Allied Health (SNAH) has a rich past with  links to the present and the future.  It started with the Memorial School of  Nursing in what was then downtown  Houston. Many young nurses, under  the direction of Mrs. Lilly Jolly, learned  to give the best patient care that  any nursing school could offer, and  they delivered that care with grace,  compassion, and a sense of purpose  that is understood and experienced by  so few in any field. Mrs. Jolly’s legacy  lives on to this day as students and  graduates from the School of  Nursing and Allied Health  continue to provide the  same compassionate,  purposeful care as their  predecessors.

Lilly Jolly, who was the first dean of the  Memorial School of  Nursing, took the school  from its downtown  hospital setting to  another location in  southwest Houston.  Eventually, the Memorial  School of Nursing became the  Lilly Jolly School of Nursing.  The Lilly Jolly School became part of  the HBU campus, and then renamed  the HBU College of Nursing, and later,  the School of Nursing & Allied Health.  Though Mrs. Jolly had long since retired,  the College held true to her standards  and demanded excellence in nursing  and personal practice. The College of  Nursing graduated students who were  well respected in the field.  Today’s students and graduates from  HBU’s School of Nursing and Allied  Health celebrate their link to the school’s  beginnings. The Allied Health part of the  school, which houses three kinesiology  degrees, joined the nursing school  nearly 10 years  ago to create the  School of Nursing and  Allied Health. Since the  development of the recently  established Deans Developmental  Council (DDC), nursing and kinesiology  students have enjoyed collaboration  through programs sponsored by the  DDC, and with each passing semester  the contribution of the DDC to the SNAH  students grows. In 2015, the DDC  sponsored a Lunch and Learn event  directed at all SNAH students where  they received a free lunch and learned  about scheduling and caring for patients  in Sport Medicine Clinics.  Contributions from the DDC  have included an annual  fund-raising luncheon,  faculty breakfasts and  get together during  final exam week, a pre-nursing  orientation  brunch for incoming  freshman students  during Welcome Days,  refreshments for  the nursing pinning  ceremonies, and most  recently the donation of  the HBU nursing pin to each  graduate. There is a grand  vision for the SNAH, one which  could not be accomplished without  the help of the Deans Developmental  Council.  The vision for the School includes  growth in program development and  enrollment through Interprofessional  Education (IPE), technology, and  community partnerships. When possible,  the School of Nursing and Allied  Health will share resources including  simulation labs in the Cullen Nursing  Center and in the Bradshaw Fitness  Center, laptop computers purchased by  the School of Nursing from the Hamill  Foundation grant to be used for testing,  and faculty when appropriate.

The Present

The School of Nursing and Allied Health currently offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree with four separate curriculum modalities, and three separate Bachelor of Science-Kinesiology degrees.


The School of Nursing boasts small classes where faculty and students know each other, and students can benefit from the personal touch. Faculty learn students’ strengths and needs, and they can work with each student towards developing strengths where needed. Nurses in the partnering clinical agencies value HBU students and graduates, and they pursue HBU graduates for employment, often before graduation. In fact, it is not unusual for 90 percent or greater of the graduating class to have multiple job offers before graduation.

Honors and Athletics

Within the traditional pre-licensure student group are two specialized groups which were difficult to manage – those enrolled in the HBU Honors College, and student athletes. Nursing schools that have an honors program develop it for nursing only, and keep it separate from the university college or other groups because nursing scheduling and course work is difficult to accommodate. There is nothing in the current literature which demonstrates inclusion of the nursing students within a university-level Honors College. However, in 2013 the SONAH entered into a one-of-a-kind joint admission program with the HBU Honors College, in which highly motivated freshmen who are interested in nursing may be admitted into the Honors College and receive provisional admission to the BSN program combining the classics Honors College and the nursing courses. The BSN Honors degree is growing in popularity each year, and students are entering the nursing curriculum earlier as a result. The BSN Honors degree produces a better educated nurse who demonstrates strong critical thinking skills and unconditional, universal compassion and acceptance for others. An addition to the Honors College students is a specialized group of nursing student athletes with the challenges of meeting NCAA guidelines, and HBU’s regulations for athletes, combined with the rules and content of the very strenuous BSN program. In the past, most student athletes have been  forced to choose between sport and nursing because practice and  travel schedules are often incompatible with lab and clinical schedules.  Now, student athletes are admitted to the nursing program according  to the season of their sport to avoid the major conflicts with travel  time versus the class schedules. By using this plan, more students are  able to achieve both athletic and academic goals.

RN-BSN Program

In 2015, the faculty launched a separate modality for achieving a BSN degree. With the help of an enrollment management partner,  Meteor Learning, the 100 percent online, competency-based RN-BSN program, where students complete the BSN degree at their own  pace from their own homes. The program, which has been open less  than a year, already has more than 50 students enrolled, with the  first graduates expected in December of 2016.


Kinesiology, the study of human movement, is the  “prevention” side of healthcare. The School of Nursing  and Allied Health houses three separate Bachelor of  Science in Kinesiology degrees. Wellness Management,  which has the greatest enrollment of the three, prepares  graduates to work in areas of fitness, wellness, and health  promotion. Many Wellness Management graduates pursue  further education, specifically in the field of Physical Therapy.  Athletic Training is a current BS degree within the SNAH.  Athletic trainers work with clients who work with the sports  teams. They teach proper body mechanics and assess and  treat injuries associated with movement. Athletic trainers can  work with other groups besides sports teams to make sure that  everyone is moving safely.  Th is year the School will launch a Bachelor of Science degree  in Sports Management, which is a combination of kinesiology  wellness management and business courses. Graduates will  be prepared to conduct the business of operating a gym or  fitness center as well as managing intramural or similar teams.

The Future

The Partnerships

Students enjoy the benefit of partnership agreements with various clinical  agencies, schools and employers, and groups. Affiliation agreements  with hospitals and articulation agreements with junior colleges keep  the SNAH active and in communication with stakeholders, donors, the Texas  Medical Center, and the greater community.  In addition to providing student placements for nursing, clinical,  and kinesiology internship practical experiences, partnerships provide  opportunities for student scholarships and collaborations between faculty  and agency staff which would have not been possible otherwise.  Collaborations between schools and clinical agencies or employers help  college faculty stay current and relevant in their practice while informing  agencies of the most effective teaching strategies or curriculum development  plans for staff.  Partnerships with hospital systems provide students the chance to  interface with the hospital leadership. Likewise, the partnering hospitals or  other agencies can meet the students at the beginning of the educational  program and possibly hire them as the student approaches graduation.  Partnerships in kinesiology include not only hospitals and clinics, but any  setting where a health or safety program is required. Partnerships allow the  employers and the students to learn about each other and to see the best fit.

New degrees and Programs Tracks

Needs for specialty services  contribute to the growth of the  SNAH. The nursing faculty have  plans to enhance the program through  degree offerings and modifications.

• First is the Master of Science in  Nursing (MSN) which will be online,  except for clinical or practicum  components. The MSN, which is  scheduled to launch in 2017, will  have four separate tracks and one  certificate program, including Nursing  Education, Nursing Administration,  Family Nurse Practitioner, and  Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Primary  Care), then a post masters certificate,  Pediatric Nurse Practitioners in Acute  Care setting.

• Also in future planning is the Doctor  of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree,  designed for nurses who are Nurse  Practitioners and would like the  expertise in management of more  complicated patients within complex  healthcare systems. As with the  MSN, the DNP will originally launch  as a post MSN entry, then eventually  transition to BSN to DNP, and maybe  RN-DNP to gather the students in the  completion program.

• In Spring 2017 an online Master  of Science in Kinesiology with a  specialty in Sport Management is  scheduled to start. Students will  learn the more advanced business  and sport management skills to  apply to teams, schools, and other  employers.

• The current BS in Athletic Training has  suspended enrollment as of Spring  2016 so that it can reopen as an entrylevel  (no BS required before it) Master  of Science-Kinesiology in Athletic  Training. This move is required by  the governing and accrediting bodies  of the athletic training profession,  and as a result, the program will be  able to gain accreditation in the  future. As the athletic trainer scope of  practice expands, so will the need for  continued education. Therefore, the  future SNAH also holds development  of a Doctor of Athletic Training  degree, whose developers have  patterned it after the nursing DNP.

• Other innovations in the SNAH  programs include development of  a degree specific honors research  program where the student partners  with a faculty research mentor  not only to assist the faculty with  research, but also to develop and  implement his or her own piece of  that research. This can contribute  to students’ interest in graduate  school and in life-long learning,  which is a value of the nursing and  athletic training accreditors. The  SNAH honors program can be in  cooperation with, or separate from,  the HBU Honors College.

• Certification programs offered by  the SNAH are being discussed or  developed, including EKG TechnicianLegal Nurse Consultant, and Nursing  Leadership. The Kinesiology program  currently requires Wellness Management  and Athletic Training students to pass  a Coaches Exam for progression to  the next level.

Thoughts on Shared Activities

The Deans Developmental Council for the SNAH will assist with raising  the funds to update the nursing and kinesiology simulation labs,  especially as additional equipment will be required for the respective  master’s degrees. Shared activities with other University colleges and  students as well as the HBU community, include disaster drills where other  students or faculty serve as patients, and inner city mission trips where  SNAH students can perform basic assessments in area neighborhoods or  centers. Both of these, as well similar events planned and implemented  by the Nursing Student Association and Kinesiology Student Association,  contribute to community wellness while making HBU more visible in the  community and increasing students’ skills and abilities.

By Dr. Rhonda (Renae) Schumann
Dean, School of Nursing and Allied Health
John S. Dunn Professorship in Nursing
Professor of Nursing

« Previous Article
Ten Pillars Vision Realized
Next Article »
The Psychology Major at HBU