Category Archives: Inspiring

I Would Run 100 Miles: Dr. Michael Thomas’s Ultramarathon

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Dr. Michael Thomas at the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival track; Photo courtesy of Thomas

By Lyndee Johns

Assistant teaching professor Dr. Michael Thomas will run 50 miles and he will run 50 more, just to be the man who ran 100 miles.

All under 48 hours.

On February 14–15, 2020, Thomas participated in the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival in Las Vegas. The Festival offers timed races (runners run/walk as far as they can during their selected time of six, 12, 24, or 48 hours) and the 100-mile race. Runners for the timed races compete on a 2.5-mile looped track.

“This [was] my third time competing in the event,” says Thomas. “Prior to this, I’ve done the 12-hour race in 2019 and 2018 . . . In 2018, I did like 52.5 miles over 12 hours. In 2019, I increased that to 58.5. I really didn’t think I’d want to go further than that, but this year, I just realized that if I was ever going to run 100 miles, then this was the best time.”

Rather than compete in the 100-mile race and run on Sunday, Thomas chose to run 100 miles in the 48-hour race, which started on Friday rather than Saturday. The pressure was on: to avoid running on Sunday, Thomas had to finish 100 miles in 40 hours.

Not exactly an easy feat.

Preparing for the race took months of training. Thomas ran between 40–50 miles per week in October/November, and kicked it up to 50 miles a week for December/January, eventually peaking at 70 miles a week.

Family Photo

Thomas is grateful for a supportive wife that let him race on Valentine’s Day! Photo courtesy of Thomas

However, Thomas refused to train at the expense of his family, waking up at five in the morning to run. “My family and work take priority over running,” he says.

Thomas arrived at the race feeling great. “I was definitely intimidated by the distance, but felt comfortable that I did my best to prepare. I was hoping to complete the 100 miles in 24 hours . . . I had a plan of where I was going to walk and run on each 2.5-mile lap and had an eating and hydration plan in place that I felt good about.”

The positivity continued for the first 45 miles of the race. Thomas even met fellow runner Tammy about five miles into the race, and they enjoyed talking with each other as they completed the next 35 miles together. After Tammy left for the night, Thomas’s brother Patrick acted as a pacer.

Thomas has a saying that he teaches the students that take his psych and wellness classes: “one mile at a time.” By mile 55, 13 hours into the race, that philosophy was difficult to keep in mind.

“I was just in this really kind of low, dark place mentally. Most of this ultra-running and distance running is really, really mental. It’s all about trying to stay in the moment,” says Thomas. “Though I was trying to focus on just one lap at a time, my mind started obsessing on the fact that I had 50 miles to go.”

When the going gets tough, the tough get napping.

“I ended up taking a four-hour nap at that point,” says Thomas. “Four hours later, I woke up and felt a lot better! My legs felt much better and I gained some mental resolve.”

Taking the break meant that he could no longer complete the race in 24 hours, so Thomas had a new goal: to finish the race. “I was like, ‘Even if it takes me forty hours, I’m going to do this.’”

Thomas returned to running at 1 a.m. Saturday morning, completing another twenty miles before tight leg muscles and aching feet forced him to return to a walking pace. After an hour break, he was determined to finish the race without any more breaks.

“The next seven hours were pretty brutal,” says Thomas. “I was using hiking poles at this point, and just walked and walked and walked and walked.”

The slow pace was difficult for Thomas, but he focused on moving forward. “Each lap takes so much longer when you’re walking, but it was just like, ‘Okay, this is what I can do. I ‘m just going to focus on what I can do and take it step by step.”

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Thomas (center) with his brother Patrick and fellow runner Tammy (who returned to see Thomas finish the race) at mile 95; Photo courtesy of Thomas

To resist the urge to quit, Thomas reached out to other runners to cheer them on. “Other people that were just struggling along as I was struggling along, we’d just talk and talk about how we were feeling, and somehow knowing that you weren’t just going through your struggle alone made it a little easier.”

Thomas took inspiration from his fellow runners, one of the most notable being an eighty-year-old man who completed 100 miles within 30 hours. “I started out faster than him, but he was so steady . . . He was definitely somebody that was super inspiring.”

Thomas also focused on feelings of positivity and gratitude to help him get through the race. “I was grateful for my wife’s support, and my brother Patrick’s willingness to pace me.  I also thought about my oldest brother Sean, who passed away from brain cancer when I was 13.  While I can never fully empathize with his experience, I have always been inspired by the strength and resilience he demonstrated during the last few years of his life. I wanted to honor his life by trying to emulate his strength during the final miles of this race.”

Two hundred yards from the finish line, Thomas was able to run to complete his 100 miles—all of which he did within 32 hours.

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At the finish line! Photo courtesy of Thomas

“As I crossed the finish line, I felt an incredible sense of relief and gratitude.  It was wonderful to have finally completed my goal, even though I finished in 32 hours, rather than my goal of 24 hours.”

Running has taught Thomas important lessons about resilience and learning how to be comfortable with discomfort—specifically the social anxiety he experiences while teaching. “While increased time and experience helped me adjust to the stresses of working in academia, I feel that running helped with this too.  I have learned to embrace my anxiety when I teach or present in front of large groups and appreciate the opportunity to learn from failures in my life.

Thomas has taken the name of the company that organizes the Jackpot Ultrarunning Festival to heart: Beyond Limits. “I think it’s important to never limit ourselves or the people around us.  We are often more capable than we think and can benefit from trying things that we don’t think are possible.  When I finished my first half-marathon five years ago, the thought of running a marathon, let alone 100 miles, seemed impossible.  Thankfully I kept on running, pushed myself past my perceived limits, and gained the courage to not limit myself during my life journey.”


Taking on Kili: BYU Nursing Alums Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro


Bethanie Price (second from the right) and Lindsay Egbert (farthest on the right) pose with their hiking group and a member of Climb Kili; Photo courtesy of Price

By Lyndee Johns

What do you do with your best friends?

Watch movies, go bowling, talk about classes or work?

Have you ever hiked the highest free-standing mountain in the world with them?

BYU nursing alums Lindsay Egbert and Bethanie Price have.

Egbert and Price have been friends for ten years, meeting in the BYU Nursing program in 2010, graduating in 2011, and attending the CRNA program together at Samuel Merritt University.

As they went through the trials of the CRNA program, both decided that they needed a light at the end of the tunnel—a graduation trip. When a mutual friend called them in 2018 with the idea to hike Kilimanjaro in 2020, Egbert and Price knew that this was the trip they had been looking for.

“Hiking Kilimanjaro, as well as going on an African safari and visiting Africa in general, has been on my bucket list for years,” says Egbert.

“I love the outdoors and love hiking, so Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list of mountains to hike for a long time,” says Price. “It’s a tall mountain, but doesn’t require any climbing gear or experience. So it’s very accessible, which made it very appealing to me.”

But while hiking Kilimanjaro is easier than scaling Everest, it is still 19,340 feet high, which means that getting altitude sickness is a real possibility. Both women had to prepare physically to make the trek. For example, Price trained in Utah to get used to a higher elevation, constantly hiking, skiing, or running on a treadmill.

Egbert and Price traveled to Tanzania in February 2020, along with four others from the Salt Lake area and California.

Soon after they arrived, it was time to hit the trail.

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The porters and guides from Climb Kili helped the group climb Mount Kilimanjaro; Photo courtesy of Price

Egbert and Price hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro with the group Climb Kili—a company that provides tourists with climbing equipment and guides. Along with 17 porters, and three guides, the group hiked up the mountain for eight days via the Lemosho route.

Both Egbert and Price appreciated the efforts of the guides and porters to help them climb Kilimanjaro.

“We would not have succeeded without them, and it was so fun getting to know them,” says Price. “The first thing I took away [from the experience] was how amazing and humble the Tanzanian people are. They worked so hard for eight days to help us six Americans reach the summit for such little pay compared to America . . . They were always so happy and helpful. It has instilled in me a deeper sense of work ethic and finding the good in any situation I’m in.”

“Interacting and learning from the native Tanzanians on that mountain was special to me,” says Egbert. “I was taught in a very personal way just how much Heavenly Father loves all of His children.”

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On the trail; Photo courtesy of Price

While it was rough going, Egbert and Price enjoyed the time to bond with the rest of the group members.

“Our entire group quickly became good friends,” says Egbert. “The atmosphere we created was positive, supportive, and energetic. It made difficult things not only possible, but enjoyable.”

Egbert and Price had a blast climbing the mountain together.

“I loved hiking the mountain with Beth. Since we met at BYU, we have been on countless adventures together. This was by far our biggest adventure!” says Egbert.

“It was also a lot of fun to hike with a friend. We got to know each other better and had someone to lean on when the going got a little rough. You gotta have someone there to laugh with you when it’s day seven without a shower!” says Price.

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The hikers feeling on top of the world at Uhuru Peak; Photo courtesy of Price

While summit night was a difficult one, it all became worth it when they reached the summit just in time to see the sun rise. “We experienced the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen at the top of the mountain,” says Price.

Both friends agree that they need a break before trying anything of this magnitude again.

“I think I would hike it again if I had some time between the hikes. Time meaning like at least five years,” says Price.

Along with hiking Kilimanjaro, Egbert and Price were able to experience an African safari and explore the town of Arusha during their time in Tanzania. Both were able to make friends with the locals and learn more about their culture and their country.

“I learned about the history of Kilimanjaro, the ecosystem of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, the cultural practices of Tanzanian tribes,” says Egbert when describing what she learned on the trip.

Egbert and Price are back in California now, working as CRNAs in Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente Redmond Medical Center respectively. But the lessons that they learned while climbing Kilimanjaro stay with them.


For Price and Egbert, hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro was a testament to the idea that they could do hard things; Photo courtesy of Price

“It re-instilled in me the notion that we can all do hard things,” says Price. “When things get overwhelming, just take things slowly, get to know others, focus on serving someone else, and you’ll get through! And there are always people out there rooting for you to accomplish your goals.”

“This trip was symbolic for me. CRNA school was incredibly difficult. It pushed me to my physical, emotional, and mental limits at times. I wanted to climb this mountain to not only represent having successfully accomplished CRNA school but also to show myself that after long and trying times of life, bucket-list dreams can and do happen,” says Egbert. “I loved our trip to Tanzania and especially enjoyed doing it with my best friend. We conquered BYU’s nursing school together, Samuel Merritt’s CRNA program together, and now Kilimanjaro.”

BYU to Columbia: A Dream Come True


6th semester student Abby Anderson is so excited to continue her nursing journey across the country!  Photo courtesy of Anderson.

By Corbin Smith

Our students here at the BYU College of Nursing are incredible. Each one of them consistently inspire us with their work ethic and dedication to learning the Healer’s art. That commitment is obvious for all of us here on campus, in labs and classes. Off campus and even across the nation, our reputation precedes itself thanks to our wonderful students and alumni. This, along with the relentless devotion to realize her dreams, led to one BYU nursing undergrad to an opportunity that comes to only a select few: acceptance into the prestigious Columbia University’s graduate DNP program.

For 6th semester student Abby Anderson, going to Columbia University has been a dream of hers for years. In fact, she knew almost immediately after choosing to study nursing at BYU that Columbia is where she wanted to go for her graduate studies. She even had an “email Columbia” reminder on her phone for over a year to help her remember to keep pushing toward her dream.

As Anderson’s research progressed she fell even more in love with the program and the University. “Columbia has several Collaboration Centers with the World Health Organization and the School of Nursing provides extensive funding for global health research. Being that pediatric nursing is my greatest passion, I knew Columbia was the perfect fit for me,” she says.

It is clear that the impact that Anderson hopes to have is through serving children all over the world. She believes that Columbia University will help her build upon the nursing foundation she constructed during her time at BYU through clinicals and her public and global health nursing course. “No matter where I end up, Columbia University will provide me networking opportunities to help me make an impact on a global scale,” Anderson says. Columbia is an excellent place to further her education and life goals.

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Photo courtesy of Anderson

Anderson, however, was not the only BYU undergraduate student to be accepted into one of Columbia University’s DNP programs. Fellow 6th semester student Alyssa Hildt was accepted into Columbia’s nurse midwifery program. While humbled by the acceptance into Columbia University, Hildt has yet to decide whether she will attend Columbia or the University of Utah for her graduate nursing studies.

That being said, Anderson is ecstatic to pack her bags and start her journey in New York City. “I love the diversity in New York City and I love the rigor of a Columbia education,” she says. “I am excited to expand my horizons, to meet new people, to explore a new city and to impact lives through the field of nursing!”

We all wish you luck, Abby! Go Cougars!

“Understanding the Healer’s Art”: Nursing Student Amy Jensen Presents at BYU Religion Symposium

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Amy Jensen (second row, third from left) with the rest of the presenters at the 2020 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium; Image courtesy of the BYU Religious Education Student Symposium Facebook group

Capstone nursing student Amy Jensen hasn’t just learned the Healer’s art from her time in the nursing program and her job as a patient care tech at Utah Valley Hospital.

She has learned it from the works of the Healer Himself, through the scriptures.

During her time as a religion TA, Jensen learned about the BYU Religious Education Student Symposium. Students can submit research papers centered around gospel topics for consideration, and, if chosen, are invited to present their work at the symposium.

This year, Jensen decided to submit.

“I have a lot of friends that have dealt with, like, really challenging things. Like with mental health, specifically, but I’ve had a couple of friends deal with abuse and trauma, and like just lots of different things that all kind of came on top at once,” says Jensen.

With that, the topic of healing and the Atonement—a meaningful topic to Jensen before and after her mission—resurfaced.

“And so [the topic] just kind of seemed to come back up. And so I decided like last minute that I was going to write this paper and it just came out, so it worked out really well.”


Jensen poses with fellow TA Danica Nusink at the Student Symposium; Image courtesy of Jensen

Weeks later, she received a pleasant surprise when she found out that her paper was one of thirty to be chosen for the symposium.

Jensen’s paper “Understanding the Healer’s Art” is based on almost two years of research through quotes, conference talks, and the scriptures about the nature of healing and the Savior’s Atonement.

What inspired her research was the trials of investigators that she witnessed during her mission. One woman was going through a particularly difficult time, as she and her kids had to move out of their home to escape abuse from her boyfriend.

While Jensen and her companion attempted to have a lesson with her, Jensen felt their efforts falling short.

“I felt like the Savior had become a Band-Aid,” says Jensen, “Like, ‘Sorry your life sucks. But don’t worry, Jesus loves you. Peace out!’ And I hated that feeling so much. And so I started to study and research it in the scriptures.”

Jensen describes finding the story of Lazarus as “changing [her] whole perspective on the Savior’s love.”

“And in that story, the Savior literally waits to go,” says Jensen. “He essentially allows Lazarus to die with the sole intent to go back and raise him. He knows exactly what He’s doing, and He knows the plan. And there’s a purpose in that.”

However, when the Savior encounters a weeping Mary, He stops. “And it’s like this really special moment where the Savior is literally going to fix her problem. And then realizes that she’s in pain and stops and waits, and cries with her and feels her pain. And then He fixes her problem.”

From the story, Jensen learned that although she couldn’t fix her investigator’s problems, she could help this investigator by grieving with her and showing her that she was there to support her.

Furthermore, Jensen learned an important lesson about the Savior’s healing. “He’s not physically here all the time to cure us of cancer, or take away abuse, or stop mental illness. Like it just doesn’t happen. But He is there with us because He’s experienced it. And He knows exactly what we’re going through. And so He can give us that support of somebody that understands what we’re struggling with.

“And that’s super validating to me that our struggles are real. And they’re not gonna just be fixed, but they’re also tangible, and they mean something to us, and they do impact us. And He’ll support us through that.”

On February 14, Jensen presented her ideas at the 2020 BYU Religious Education Student Symposium.

“It was so fun,” Jensen says about the experience. “But I think it was fun because it was meaningful to me. It was something that I was really passionate about and I felt really strongly about, and I’ve had really sacred experiences with. And so I felt so connected to it that it was really validating to be able to share my feelings and thoughts and then have people come up afterward and be like, ‘That like meant something to me.’”


Jensen (second from the left) with her fellow nurses during Mock Disaster; Image courtesy of Jensen

Jensen says that in her presentation, she also talked about the nursing program, which lets her participate in the act of healing. “Up to this point, I feel like I’ve always been like, ‘I want to do something. I don’t know what to do for you. I can’t help you,’” Jensen says. “I feel like now I have something to offer people to give them help. And not just like an emotional sense, but in a physical sense. Like, we can do what we can do to give you the best care.

“It makes me feel like I can contribute and can offer something beneficial to people.”


BYU Nursing Students Inspire Finnish Convert Baptism


Merike Pajula, Finnish nursing student, made the life-altering decision to be baptized after meeting BYU nursing students. Adjunct professor Curt Newman flew out to Finland to perform the baptism. Photo courtesy of Pajula.

By Quincey Taylor

One of the first things Merike Pajula noticed about the professors and students from BYU was their warm presence. They had a light in their eyes. A light which she later discovered stemmed from the gospel of Jesus Christ.  D&C 88:11 reads, “And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings.” This light, which shines in each of the BYU nursing students, can bring about miracles wherever they go.

Pajula attended church during her childhood, but as she grew up she fell out of activity. She always felt different from her peers and says, “It was difficult for me to make friends, and those that I had led their lives differently from mine.” She made personal choices to live high standards, a reason why she later connected so well with BYU students.

In 2018, she met the BYU students on the Finland section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course in the city of Savonlinna. They were the first Americans she had ever seen. “I felt nervous,” she reflects, “but excited.” They had previously met over Skype, but this was the first time seeing each other in person.

From the first day Pajula met the students, she decided she wanted to do an exchange program to BYU. “There was no other option I would have preferred,” she says. She approached BYU adjunct professor Curt Newman and associate teaching professor Dr. Leslie Miles to talk about the possibility. Pajula remembers, “The two teachers were so friendly and welcoming. The moment I met them, they had a sense of peace and warmth around them.”

After the BYU students and faculty left, Pajula stayed in contact online. They communicated for a full year, discussing how she could come to BYU, until the 2019 nursing students group came to Finland. Pajula had the chance to spend more time with the students this year and ask them questions regarding their religion.

She found a community with the BYU students with which she connected. She says, “I felt like I had finally found people I understand and people who understand me. I had very warm feelings from the time we had spent time together.”

Pajula stayed in contact with Newman for a long time, and he answered all her questions from where to travel while visiting the United States to details of the Plan of Salvation. They became friends. Newman had fostered a love for the Finnish people since he had served a mission there as a youth. Eventually, Newman offered to connect Pajula with the missionaries in her hometown.

Pajula reflects, “I jumped at the opportunity, and the next day my phone was ringing. The missionaries were calling me. We set up a time and day, when they would come and visit me. When they arrived I felt so excited, but at the same time they had so much peace and positivity around them. I was in a hard place in my life, but I felt motivated afterwards to perform and to get my things in order.”

As a curious person, Pajula researched to find more information about the church online. She found plenty of information – both positive and negative. The missionaries answered all of her questions and helped her feel peace regarding her questions. She says, “I am glad I got to find information from both sides and eventually I got to make up my own mind about which way I feel about the church.”

One of the lasting impressions that helped Pajula in these moments of doubt was the example of the BYU students. She says, “I remembered how much I admired the commitment and the determination of the BYU students I met. Religion was so important for them and it made a positive impact in their lives.”

As time went on, Pajula saw a change in herself and in her lifestyle. She remarks, “I realized that the church can offer me more then what I expected. It offered me a chance to repent for all my sins and to start over in my life. To learn to respect myself and to try to be more considerate to my fellow man. From that moment on, I was sold.”

Pajula finally took the step and booked a baptism date in January 2020 with the sister missionaries. It was really important for her to have Newman attend and perform the baptism. She says, “[Curt] taught me so much about the church and encouraged me to better my life. I couldn’t be more grateful to have him in my life.” He promptly booked the flight and was there for her special day. It was a moment that touched her heart, one that she will never forget.


Newman performed the baptism, sealing their friendship. Photo courtesy of Newman.

Pajula feels she has gone through a transformation and has finally started the road towards becoming the person she always wanted to be. Meeting her local ward has added new friendships to her life and has given her an opportunity to serve others. She says, “My circle is finally full. I said goodbye to the old me and I greeted my new life with open arms.” Even though her family was initially unsupportive of her decision, they changed their minds when they saw how positively the baptism had impacted her life.


Pajula’s new ward family is ecstatic to add her to the fold. Photo courtesy of Newman.


They celebrated with Finnish foods and snacks. Photo courtesy of Newman. 

Pajula looks forward to the future and says, “I feel like, I have grown so much and have begun to understand myself, while trying to get into the habit of studying the scriptures daily. There is still so much to learn and it has been truly a culture shock. Even though I have been baptized, I still struggle with faith. However, knowing that God is up there watching over us encourages me to go through the difficult times so I could share the sunny moments with the people that I love and care about.”






The Universal Language of Healthcare – Being a Medical Interpreter


The skills to interpret Spanish in medical settings have become very useful for student Page Turley. Photo courtesy of Turley.

By Quincey Taylor

When sixth semester student Page Turley found herself in Peruvian hospitals with her companions during her mission, little did she know that understanding medical Spanish would soon become her norm.

Turley is one of the few students that has taken the necessary classes to become a Spanish medical interpreter. Even though the skill only requires two additional classes, nursing students that are registered medical interpreters are rare. Turley is hoping to change that. It is by learning about another culture that Turley has truly learned the language of healthcare – love.

When Turley started her Spanish minor, she had no idea that medical interpretation would be part of it. It started when she took a Spanish medical terminology class. She says, “I loved it. It brought back all the anatomy terms I had learned in nursing.” Her professor, Charles Lemon, approached her about taking the follow-up class in order to qualify as a medical interpreter.

Turley was interested, but the class fell on Thursday during her nursing clinicals. There was no way to work it in. However, Professor Lemon saw potential in Turley and wanted to help her in her future profession. “Even though I had clinicals every Thursday, he would meet with me a different day of the week to make up the class I missed,” says Turley. It was through his help and Turley’s determination that she completed the courses.

Turley says, “The College of Nursing emphasizes caring for people holistically. We’re not just treating patients’ physical symptoms, but we are helping them emotionally, mentally and spiritually. One of the aspects of that is providing culturally-sensitive care. Doing a Spanish minor has helped me understand another culture a little better. It will help me be a better nurse.”

During her fourth semester, Turley was able to use her skills during the Spain section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course. Many students in her section had served Spanish-speaking missions, but they had never learned the medical side of the language. This set Turley apart.

Turley also used her skills during her pediatric rotation. A family came to the hospital with a sick little girl and neither of the parents spoke English. The doctor responded by turning to the online interpreting service normally used. However, in that moment the computer crashed and the service wouldn’t work. Turley remembers, “There was no way for the doctor to communicate with this family. They needed help right away. It felt awesome to be able to step up and say, ‘I can do it for you if you need it.’ It was a good back-up plan.”

After this experience, Turley saw the true value in her skill. She says, “Even if patients speak English it’s hard to go to the hospital and completely understand exactly what’s going on. Add another barrier, and it makes the experience more difficult and scary for them. There is so much risk for confusion. Just being informed can take away some of the scary nature, even if the situation itself doesn’t change.”

By completing the classes, students can become nationally recognized as medical interpreters. They are required to take a test to prove their competency and may be additionally tested at their job.

After graduation, Turley hopes to work in oncology, continuing using her skills as often as possible.

Mary Ellen Jackman: “Go Forth to Serve”



Jackman epitomizes the BYU slogan “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve”; Photo courtesy of Jackman

By Lyndee Johns

BYU alumni Mary Ellen Jackman (BS ’77, AS ’75) encourages BYU nursing students to take the campus message “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” to heart.

When examining her life, it is clear that Jackman has done this herself.

Jackman has worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 33 years, all but 18 months of those years at American Fork Hospital in labor and delivery.

Last November, Jackman traveled to Honduras as part of a humanitarian trip with Smiles for Latin America—an organization that provides medical and dental services to future missionaries.

In San Pedro Sula, 30 dentists and six oral surgeons set up shop in the local stake center to give fillings and root canals. Jackman assisted as a recovery room nurse. Altogether, they were able to serve 670 prospective missionaries.

During the trip, Jackman also helped to deliver supplies to an orphanage and maternity kits to a maternity hospital.

Jackman considers the trip a “very rewarding experience.”

“The Saints are very appreciative and very humble,” Jackman says.

In addition to serving people in Honduras, Jackman has made a significant difference in her own American Fork Hospital.

About ten years ago, Jackman noticed a problem during the clinical days where students would come to assist in the hospital: both nurses and students were getting frustrated. Students wanted to share what they had learned in their classes, and the nurses were overwhelmed by simultaneously trying to mentor students and handle patients. “The only satisfaction the nurse gets is if the student is receptive to learn and take direction, not over-anxious to share what they think they know. In real life it looks different,” says Jackman.

Something had to change.

Jackman worked with the instructors, discovering ways to fulfill both the needs of the students and the needs of the nursing staff. “The immediate difference for the nurses may have been that the nurses were given a way to voice their concerns and plans were made to solve problems,” says Jackman.

Another change was the addition of a student orientation day a week before the clinical day. At student orientation, students are welcomed to the hospital and given a tour. During the tour, Jackman gives the students instructions as to how the unit works and how the students can utilize their skills. The student orientation day is meant to “help them feel welcome and that we care,” says Jackman. “We were all students at one time.”

The changes, as Jackman says, “help students come away empowered and that they’ve had a good time . . . The goal is to have a good experience for both our staff and the students. When we’re at ease with our environment, and our feelings count, it provides a fertile field for learning.”

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Jackman has been a blessing to students coming into the American Fork Hospital; Photo courtesy of Jackman

Jackman frequently acts as a liaison for students coming into American Fork Hospital. She has personally mentored many nursing students who have expressed their gratitude in the form of thank-you cards that Jackman still keeps in her scrapbook.

Jackman serves as an organist at the Mount Timpanogos Temple and in her ward. She enjoys gardening and doing temple work. “Most of all, I love to spend time with my children,” Jackman says. She has six children and 22 grandchildren, with another on the way. She hopes to do another humanitarian trip and to go on a mission. Meanwhile, she is serving at the MTC, helping missionaries arriving from third-world countries and that are in need of clothing items and other supplies.

Jackman wants to remind current and incoming nursing students that nursing is, in her words, “a very diverse field.” The skills that they learn at BYU can be used in a variety of different environments, including hospitals, cruise ships, education, hospice and home health. “A nursing education is adaptable at different times of life, to be built on from an AD or BS degree to masters and doctorate levels. Nursing is a blessing to parents with children as they use their skills for their family.”

“‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve’ will last the rest of your life.”