Wausau Nursing Student Pursues Lifetime Dream While Caring for Family
The prospect of dealing with blood is enough to deter a lot of people from pursuing a career in the medical field. Rasmussen College student Krystl Taylor is not one of those people. From an early age she was fascinated by medical procedures and the healthcare profession.
“As a kid my mom used to watch those real surgery shows on T.V. and I would just stand in the hallway since I wasn’t allowed to watch with her,” said Taylor. “I’ve always just loved that stuff.”
With that early interest in the medical field, it’s no surprise Taylor is now well on her way to an associate’s degree in nursing.
The winding road to earning her degree
The first year of college can be a turbulent time for many fresh high school graduates. Most find themselves with an unprecedented level of freedom and independence in a location they may know very little about. On top of that they are meeting new people and learning how to deal with the rigors of collegiate academics. These factors alone are enough to make some students struggle, in Taylor’s case she was also responsible for taking care of her first child.
“It was hard not being a traditional student at the UW here in Wausau…[I was] one of a few people married with kids,” said Taylor. “I kind of felt alone because there weren’t many students who could relate to my life.”
After a year in college spent at two different campuses, Taylor decided she needed to make another change. After hearing several people suggest she check out the nursing program at the Rasmussen College Wausau campus, she decided to enroll.
“Everybody was just so personable and made me feel welcome,” said Taylor. “I just knew from that first day that this was the place I needed to be.”
The difference at Rasmussen College
One of the biggest issues Taylor faced at other schools was the size of the classes and lack of personal attention from instructors. After enrolling at Rasmussen College she has seen firsthand the dedication her instructors have.
“I was out of town working on microbiology homework and was really struggling with a concept, so I sent my teacher an email asking for help.” Taylor said. “She replied immediately with a phone number and set up a Wimba session to help walk me through it. This was at nine o’clock on a Saturday night, so I will never forget how much she was willing to help me.”
A leader who cares
Taylor was approached by the Wausau Dean of Nursing about an opportunity she jumped on; she will now take on a leadership role as president of the new student nurses association at her campus. Taylor is tasked with laying the foundation of the group for the future. Plans for the group include monthly meetings, service projects in the community and having guest speakers from the medical field come to visit.
“We just want to get students involved and get our name out there in the community,” Taylor said. “It’s a good way for employers and others in the community to see who we are and that we’re involved.”
Family influence on nursing career
The duties of a nurse and the duties of a mom have a lot of overlap, and Taylor says there is one major takeaway from her experience raising children that applies to nursing.
“I’ve learned to develop patience,” Taylor said. “Kids are by no means fast when you really need them to get going. It’s a huge help in getting on the same level as your patient. If you’re working with the elderly, they’re not always going to move as fast as you, so having that patience helps.”
In addition, Taylor says although her husband’s job is enough to support her family, she wants to set an example to her children about the value of an education.
“I want to provide a nice home for my kids and want them to know the importance of education and chasing their dreams and goals,” said Taylor. “My kids being able to see their parents accomplish their goals are important in terms of being a role model for them as they grow up.”
A look into the future
Taylor expects to graduate in the fall of 2014, and while she is open to any nursing job, she does have a couple particular areas of interest.
“I would really enjoy working at a correctional facility or in emergency care,” Taylor said. “I guess I’d just like the excitement of not knowing what to expect on a daily basis and dealing with the blood and guts you’d see in that environment.”
In addition to Taylor’s career aspirations, she hopes to continue pursuing her education beyond an associate’s degree.
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