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story.lead_photo.caption MEGAN DAVIS/MCDONALD COUNTY PRESS Nursing students from Crowder College Jane's campus prepare for graduation in May. From the left are instructor Janet Ross, students Jay Gresham, Maegan Mooberry and Charles Requa, and coordinator Rachel Feagens.

Labs, exams and works of study may be grueling, but local nursing students say the journey has been worth it. Students at Crowder College's Jane campus preparing for a nursing career all say they have been led to help others. Experiences such as a fourth-grade Career Day experience -- to a front-line view of caring and nurturing nurses -- have drawn them to serve others in time of need.

Nursing is a demanding career, and Crowder College thoroughly prepares students for the rigors of the job, officials say. Sandra Reed Wilson, Crowder College's director of nursing, said the nursing field is not for everyone.

"Compassion is a critical element for success in the profession, but compassion alone is not enough. The physical and emotional demands are difficult in this profession," she said.

Students at Crowder's Jane campus say they are well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Educators have provided compassion and ignited hope and help.

The future registered nurses anticipate a joy in serving others.

Jay Gresham entered the nursing field because he felt called by God. Gresham is pursuing more training and education to expand his level of service.

"I went into nursing because I felt like God was calling me and my family to overseas missions, and I wanted medical training to be able to help those in need."

He was drawn to Crowder College's nursing program because of its incredible reputation for creating great nurses, he said.

The current licensed practical nurse wanted to further his education by obtaining a registered nurse degree.

"Crowder's LPN/RN bridge program is a great fit for nontraditional students who want to further their careers," Gresham said. "The LPN/RN bridge program is two semesters, after attending a summer LPN transitions program."

During his time at Crowder, Gresham has fit in well and hit the ground running. "The biggest thing I've learned while attending this program is that you're never too old to learn new and exciting things and further your education," Gresham said.

Maegan Mooberry was drawn to the nursing field as a youngster. She grew up listening to many stories told by her grandmother, a nurse and a medical missionary.

"I've always been someone who likes to care for others, so I decided to give health care a shot and became a CNA as soon as I turned 18," Mooberry said.

"I fell in love with it and knew that this is what I wanted to do."

Mooberry decided to pursue her nursing degree but didn't always have a positive experience. When she discovered Crowder's Jane campus, all that changed.

"When I was looking into the nursing programs, I came across Crowder McDonald County. I had never heard of Crowder before and decided to look into it. I met with the then nursing director at the campus who took the time to not only speak with me but also to show me around and give me an in-depth explanation of their program and not look put out by any questions I had," she said.

"It was the first time that I felt honest compassion at a school. I could see how the office staff interacted with other students and how, for the most part, knew them all by name," she said. "I was blown away and knew that this was the kind of campus I wanted to attend," she said.

The nursing student, who will graduate in May, said her Crowder experience has prepared her for the future on a very personal level.

"Aside from everything I've learned in my nursing classes, Crowder has taught me motivation, hope, leadership, compassion and so many more things," she said.

"I am very proud to be a Crowder student. The staff at Crowder has always been encouraging and compassionate when it comes to myself and their students. They truly set a positive example and environment and encourage their students to do the best. "I am also very blessed that Crowder has given me the opportunity to serve our local community and represent our school."

Fellow student Charles Requa, also set to graduate from Crowder in May, decided to pursue a nursing career after many years in the health-care industry. With a total of 30 years in the field, Requa has spent the last three years as a medical assistant.

A brush with a hospital experience, however, catapulted him into pursuing a nursing career.

"My biggest inspiration to become a nurse occurred when I had a loved one hospitalized. It was then that I observed the nurses to be the most compassionate and caring individuals I have ever witnessed," Requa said. "It was after that experience that I decided I would like to pursue the profession."

The nursing student chose the Jane location due to its smaller size and convenient location. He's invested three years in his education, completing his prerequisites, before starting the RN program.

With years of experience in the health-care field, Requa is ready to help others with as many skills as possible.

"I feel that a role as a registered nurse will put me in a position to be of maximum benefit to those I will serve in the future," Requa said.

As a 49-year-old nontraditional student, Requa has gained a new perspective at Crowder's Jane campus.

"I have learned that you are never too old to begin a new chapter in your life, and I cannot imagine a better place than Crowder College to achieve this," he said.

First-year nursing student Eric Arroyo realized on Career Day in fourth grade that he wanted to help people.

"I knew then that I wanted to help make people feel better when they're sick."

Arroyo is the first generation in his family to attend college and was strongly encouraged to pursue higher education.

He chose the Crowder College nursing program over other area nursing schools because Crowder is a nationally-accredited nursing program, an important factor in his decision.

"The Crowder College McDonald County campus is a small campus compared to my previous attended colleges, which is not (a) bad thing. The campus has computer labs, classrooms and also a nursing skills lab that have simulator mannequins, which we can practice (on) and apply the skills we learn in lecture," Arroyo said.

"I like that the instructors get to know each one of us students and truly care about our education and want us to succeed in our future career.

"All my instructors and Ms. Harmon from the front office know me by my name, which hasn't been the case at other colleges I've attended. The fact that the faculty knows my name makes me feel welcome at this campus. I'm proud to be a Crowder Roughrider."

As he prepares to graduate next year, Arroyo is continuing his work as a nurse assistant.

The work is something he truly loves as he anticipates a full-fledged nursing career.

"After having 5 1/2 years of nursing assistant experience, I realize that nursing is my calling to help people in their time of need and work with other health-care professionals to have a treatment plan for the patient," he said.

"It makes me feel good to help people when they need it."

General News on 03/08/2018

Print Headline: Nursing Students Prepare To Serve Others

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