New nursing students take the cake at orientation night

Excitement fills the room as 62 of the newest nursing students start off the winter semester at the orientation banquet, Wednesday, January 6. The average 32% acceptance rate into the College of Nursing shows the talent of the newly accepted 60 women and 2 men in the program. An average 3.86 GPA, countless hours of service and letters of recommendation set apart these high achieving nursing students into a new life and career.

The event consisted of introducing the faculty, vision, mission and values of the program, and sharing of a broad overview of labs, clinical work, portfolio and capstone projects.  The mission of the program is to help students learn the Healer’s art and develop caring professional nurses.

“The beauty of nursing is it is both a science and an art” says Dr. Kent Blad, associate dean of undergraduate studies for the College of Nursing.

The vision of the nursing program is to help students gain more than just a degree. The faculty expressed their passion and purpose to help students promote health and care for the suffering. Like the ultimate healer, Jesus Christ, inviting the spirit into health and healing is the program’s biggest inspiration.

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Angela Nikerl (left) meets fellow nursing students at orientation dinner. Photo credit: Brooke Tait

“I love the feeling here,” says Angela Nikerl from Spokane, Wash. “Being a transfer student, I find myself tearing up every time there is an opening prayer said in class.”

As a mother of five kids, Nikerl says that is one of the reasons she loves being a nurse.

“The most profound thing you will do is invite the spirit into your profession,” says Dr. Mary Williams, associate dean of graduate studies of the College of Nursing. “We are here to help you educate your heart, mind and hands; all those parts of you must be excellent. You have a responsibility to make nursing better.”

Megan Blazzard, a sophomore from Boise, Idaho says, “Tonight I took away how incredible it is that [nursing] is a Healer’s art. Every day we are touching someone’s life and truly being like the Savior in our work.”

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Megan Blazzard (third from left) dishes up dinner with her classmates at orientation dinner. Photo credit: Brooke Tait

Inspired by her aunt who is also a nurse, Blazzard decided to study nursing. “I’ve always looked up to her,” she says,“ I want to be that nurse that is always happy and is a friend to the patients—someone they can trust and have confidence in.”

One of the two men in the program, Doug Harvey, a 21-year old from Brighton, Mich. says, “I love science, the human body and helping people, this is something with all those intersected,” he says. “What I am most excited for in the program is to learn, and with every class I take I love it more and more.”

“We are so glad you are here,” Dr. Patricia Ravert, Dean of the College, says in her closing remarks. She spoke of her confidence in the new students. “We expect a lot from you and want you to be successful. Nursing is something you can do so much with if you keep working at it.”

It will be exciting to see where the program will take these students in their future semesters here at BYU and in the nursing profession.

By Brooke Tait—BYU College of Nursing public relations assistant

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