As a child, Lauren had to receive an allergy shot every day. For most kids, this would be a scary prospect, but Lauren's Great-Aunt Deanna's skill as a nurse helped forge an early love of the profession. Deanna maintained a friendly, positive demeanor while giving the shots, making them much easier to bear.
These daily interactions inspired Lauren to bring the same comfort to patients. Now in her third year of nursing school, Lauren has quickly fallen in love with Nebraska Methodist College.
Lauren in the Library
Originally from Lincoln, Lauren wanted a school outside her home city that could cite high NCLEX passing rates. She found what she was looking for at NMC, which had an added bonus Lauren wasn't necessarily expecting before she visited.
“You get a good vibe when you come into the school. Everyone asks you how you are, and you’re always greeted with a smile,” said Lauren. “I signed up for anything that enabled me to help others.”
Lauren applied for the Federal Work Study program and works in the John Moritz Library. There, she sees the welcoming, supportive atmosphere firsthand: Students work hard while staff help with tough assignments.
Lauren has learned about the Methodist Health System and the healthcare world by assisting doctors, nurses, staff and even her peers. She frequently pulls articles, answers questions and takes messages.
“I like it because I can usually help people in a couple steps. Whether it’s printing or sizing a document, I can see they’re glad I am able to help,” she said. “The library has been a fantastic place for me to learn and meet healthcare professionals throughout the health system.”
Another Way to Give Back
Lauren, ever the go-getter, still thought she could do more. That's why she joined the NMC Ambassadors, a group of dedicated students who work school events, give guests tours and act as a source of important information to new students on campus. This was an opportunity to share her own story as a transfer student from Lincoln.
“I hope to help people like me who come in as transfers,” Lauren said. “This is my chance to explain to them and their families how the nursing program works and how they can avoid some mistakes I've made.”
The mistake Lauren refers to is more of a stumbling block. Transferring into nursing school was a big adjustment, particularly the test questions she was unaccustomed to prior to NMC. Nursing test-style questions require students to pick the best answer as opposed to the "right" answer, as all of the answers may be somewhat right. This testing format threw Lauren off at first, and as a result, she failed one of her nursing courses.
“It was a really hard moment for me. I wanted to run away from it, but then I realized the only way to feel better was to keep fighting for my dreams,” she said.
Learning the material twice paid off for Lauren. The second time, she was able to process the information in new ways thanks to the support services that are readily available at Nebraska Methodist College.
Peer tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI) were crucial to her success when she re-took the class. Peer tutoring gives students one-on-one help by pairing them with another student who previously excelled in the course. SI is similar, except in this case, the class as a whole has a chance to meet with a student who has mastered the course, asking additional questions and receiving helpful study guides..
“I knew it was time to reach out for help, and I’m so grateful I did,” said Lauren. "It sounds weird, but failing motivated me to work even harder."
This is a lesson Lauren is happy to impart to incoming students. If a student stumbles, supportive faculty and programs are there to help keep them on track.
The experience of having to retake a course certainly hasn't changed Lauren's outlook. Peers and teachers frequently compliment her friendly demeanor and ability to make patients feel at ease in clinicals.
"A lot of people ask me how I can stay so positive all the time." Lauren said. "But really I just love talking to people and figuring out how I can help them."
The path to a nursing degree isn’t easy, but Lauren is going to keep working hard to obtain it. Once she does, patients will benefit from a positive attitude and the friendly manner she inherited at a young age. Her Great Aunt Deanna may be gone, but her legacy will continue to live on in Lauren.