Bailey and Celeste: MTC District to Nursing School

By Kathryn Mulligan

The importance of having a good friend is invaluable, especially at the College of Nursing. While many people have to make friends along the way, some nursing students come into the program with established friendships. Among these individuals are first semester students Bailey Pixton and Celeste Soucie. However, they did not create their friendship in a BYU classroom like one might expect; they created their friendship in the mission field of Ukraine.

Celeste and Bailey

Bailey and Celeste were both called to serve in the Ukraine Kyiv-Moldova mission and met in the Spain Missionary Training Center where they were placed in the same district. Their friendship blossomed quickly and continued to develop despite never serving together as mission companions. “We knew we’d be great friends even after our mission,” Celeste says. The two kept in touch with each other throughout their entire missions despite serving in different areas. During their final transfer, they were finally able to be in the same zone. “We got to go on an exchange together and reflect back on all the crazy, trying, spiritual, fun times we had,” Bailey remembers. “We always stayed in touch and shared our experiences with each other.”

Though they didn’t know it at the time, Bailey and Celeste both realized they wanted to be nurses while serving their missions. Before beginning their missionary service, Bailey planned on going into physical therapy or another occupation in the medical field while Celeste wanted to pursue dietetics.

“Serving in Ukraine gave me so many opportunities to help people that really led me to want to go into nursing,” Bailey explains. Her interest in nursing fully formed while serving in her last area. Bailey and her companion were assigned to give weekly visits to Ana, an old babushka with declining health that struggled to take care of herself. “Every week, we would go over to her tiny apartment, bring her groceries, check her blood pressure, and yell a spiritual thought in her ear,” Bailey says. “I came to cherish those moments with her more than anything and it was during those times that I realized caring for people is what I wanted to continue doing.”

As for Celeste, nursing has always been a factor in her life as her mom is a nurse. “[My mom] has made an impact in her patient’s lives and I can tell from the way she talks about her career that nursing has been so rewarding for her,” Celeste says. In addition, Celeste has always “loved taking care of people and brightening their days.” Her exposure to nursing and love of caring for others came to the forefront during her mission and influenced her greatly. “I knew I wanted to become a nurse after serving my mission and realizing I want to care for Heavenly Father’s children and hopefully help them feel loved in some of their worst times.”

“Since coming home, we have stayed super close friends,” Bailey says. After coming home from their missions, Celeste transferred from the University of Arizona to BYU, solidifying her and Bailey’s friendship. “Bailey definitely showed me the ropes here. I feel like I know campus because of her,” Celeste laughs. Since attending BYU together, they’ve had similar academic journeys. “We both applied [for the program] at the same time, didn’t get in at the same time, applied again and got in for this semester! It was a roller coaster of emotions,” Bailey jokes. Despite their similarities, their friendship goes beyond the bounds of their shared mission and school experiences. “We’ve gone to the lake, drive-in movies, the rodeo, and Yellowstone together,” Celeste explains. “I’m sure there will be more adventures in the near future.”

Bailey and Celeste are thrilled to be in the nursing program together and to have a built-in support system while experiencing the triumphs and struggles of becoming a nurse. “I’m so happy we’re in this together and can help each other succeed,” Celeste says. “One day we’ll be able to look back at our time together as nursing students and remember that we got through it because we had each other.”

Congrats to Bailey and Celeste! We can’t wait to see what both of you accomplish over the next few years!

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