Alumni Spotlight: Paige Peterson Farmer

 By Eliza Joy

Our next Alumni Spotlight is Paige Peterson Farmer! Paige graduated from BYU’s College of Nursing in April of 2021.

Photo of Paige, her husband, and their daughter

Paige and her husband’s love story is as old as time itself. Paige met Zeb at EFY in 2013. They kept in contact and dated their freshman year of college until Zeb left on a mission to Mexico City. In 2020, Paige planned to travel to Finland for the clinical practicum of the public and global health nursing course. But due to COVID-19, the trip was canceled. Also, because of the virus, Zeb came home from his mission six weeks early. While both were disappointed by these developments, it allowed them to reunite earlier than planned. So, in April 2020, they began dating again. They were engaged in May and got married in August.

Paige and Zeb enjoyed watching Tiny House Nation on Netflix and talked about building a tiny house of their own. “It was just one of those things that you talk about but don’t do,” Paige remembered. But with Provo housing notoriously expensive, they decided to buy and renovate an RV to create their own tiny home inspired by Instagram’s @rvfixerupper. Although expensive, living in an RV would save money on rent in the long run. So they spent the months of June through September renovating.

They lived in the RV for a year and would’ve stayed longer were it not for an unexpected blessing. “We found out I was pregnant in February and realized we wouldn’t have enough room in the RV for a kid.” So they closed on a house in September, but they bought a fixer-upper house because they had so much fun with the RV. So while many new babies sleep to the sounds of white noise machines, Paige’s daughter has been “sleeping to the sound of house renovations.”

For Paige, it was essential to find work that allowed her to be home with her daughter. She was able to find a job with Dignity Home Health and Hospice, a company that operates out of American Fork. Paige can work from home as an on-call intake nurse, referring patients to the nurses and doctors best suited to them. She’ll likely begin working as a nurse doing home visits for them in the future.

Paige hopes to get back to working in a hospital eventually. At first, she’ll likely start as a part-time nurse and change her hours to work around the stages of motherhood. Although she enjoys many hospital units, she has her eye on one in particular. “The NICU is my favorite,” Paige said. “I was lucky enough to get a capstone in the NICU.” A close second for Paige is the OR, where she cited the laid-back environment and experienced surgeons as the main draws. She’s also interested in going to graduate school to become a nurse anesthetist.

From her time at BYU, Paige learned the habit of praying before every shift. Praying before work fosters an open heart to receive guidance and inspiration from the Spirit. In addition, the College of Nursing’s holistic approach helps students remember to care for their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. “When you pray in the morning before every shift, you can care for your patient’s spirit better,” Paige testified.

Paige recalled a class she took where Renea Beckstrand told the students, “I want you to all remember that you are your lowest test grade.” “We all kind of started laughing,” Paige said. Once the students realized it wasn’t a joke, Renea explained what she had meant; she wanted students to be so prepared that even if it were their worst day possible, they would still pass the NCLEX. When Paige took her exam, she felt sick and didn’t eat before the test. But because of diligent preparation, she passed.

Paige implored current nursing students, “Just stick with it.” On the other side of challenging classes and clinicals is a fulfilling career. However, she added that compassion fatigue is prevalent, and like putting on an oxygen mask in an airplane, it’s essential to help yourself first to help others.

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