Like many dedicated nursing faculty, MSUM’s Alicia Swanson has worked in various areas within the nursing profession. She brings that experience to her role as program coordinator of the university’s new BS in Nursing (BSN) program.

After earning her nursing degree, Swanson worked on the children’s hospital float team (NICU, PICU, PEDS) and, for over 11 years, the adult cardiac stepdown unit.

A year later, Swanson began her career in education. She received her master of science in nursing education through Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She’s taught part-time at MSUM since the summer of 2007, and in 2015 started teaching full-time at the university’s School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership.

“I can honestly say I feel blessed and honored to collaborate with wonderful faculty, staff and students,” she said.

Throughout her years of working in education, Swanson has taught courses at all nursing education levels, from LPN to RN to BSN to BS in Nursing. She currently teaches in the RN to BSN program and the Minnesota Alliance of Nursing Education (MANE) BSN program, including nursing courses in public health, leadership, research, and more. She also supervises students during their clinicals, where students provide direct patient care.

Her “knowledge, experience and interest” lies in family nursing, pediatrics and maternal/child care.

Swanson has a post-master’s certificate in integrative health and healing practices from the University of Minnesota. She is a national member and local chapter co-leader of the American Holistic Nurses Association.

“An area of great interest, expertise, and passion for me is integrative health and therapies and self-care practices,” she said. “I have experienced and witnessed some amazing transformations and healing.”

She enjoys teaching, whether in the classroom, virtually, blended, or simulation and clinical settings. MSUM’s new BS in Nursing is a three-year program, including summers, delivered entirely in person.

“I love to be involved in education, research and practice related to integrative health modalities,” Swanson said. She is studying to become board certified as an advanced holistic nurse.

“My most enjoyable part of educating students is the transformation that occurs through their nursing journey, not only professionally but also personally,” she explained. “It’s  about the journey, not the destination.”

“Additionally, [I share] my education, experiences, and lived experience with holistic and integrative health,” she added. “I am passionate about caring for the whole person.”

Swanson says she is most excited about partnering with the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) for the new prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. 

“…[I am excited about] our cutting-edge simulation and lab equipment and space, our dedicated integration of the holistic care principles and core values, and our concept-based, innovative curriculum,” she said.

She offers this advice for students interested in a nursing career and those entering the program: “Always care for yourself so you can best care for others. Self-care is not selfish. It is vital to be an excellent nurse.”