Life experiences drew Miki Musgrove to the profession of nursing. These included having relatives who needed regular care, participating in the health academy in her high school, volunteering at a hospital, and witnessing a relative running a care home. However, when she first began her journey at the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON), she was apprehensive. It was not until she was “right in the middle of it” that she realized her passion for the field, she says. Now, Musgrove serves as a student representative on the school’s Pre-Licensure Curriculum & Program Delivery committee (PLCPD) and for the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA). She filled us in on her experiences at NAWSON.
What brought you to NAWSON?
I didn’t intend to stay home for college, but I’m so glad that I did. Not only do I get to enjoy all the wonderful things that my home has to offer, but I am part of an incredible, reputable, and intensive nursing program.
Could you please tell me about your journey to where you are today?
There were so many factors that influenced me to choose nursing. In short, this includes family being in and out of the hospital, joining the health academy at my high school, volunteering at the hospital, and my aunty running a care home. These encounters led me to think that nursing was something that I wanted to go into. But the truth is, I didn’t know if nursing was the career for me until I was right in the middle of it … I love the close patient interactions, critical thinking, and opportunities for learning. Not only do you learn new things medically, but you learn so many life lessons from these patients. Early on as a nursing assistant, I had this patient that I call “the one,” who impacted me in a way that I will never forget and inspired me to continue pursuing nursing.
What have you liked most about your time here?
What I like most about my time at NAWSON are the clinical instructors that I’ve had. These instructors go through so many students year after year, but, as students, we only have so many instructors. I’m extremely grateful that every single one that I’ve had has made a huge difference in my journey in nursing. They trust us, teach us everything we need to know, challenge us, and care for us. I also love the friendships that I’ve made with my peers.
Tell us about your experience with PLCPD and the SNA.
I joined PLCPD as a student representative because it sounded like a good opportunity, and it seemed interesting to be a part of discussions about the curriculum. I think it’s beneficial for student input in these discussions because we are on the receiving end of the curriculum. I have also been an SNA class representative for my cohort for the last three years. I would say that something memorable has been the connections that I’ve made with my cohort as well as those in SNA.
What would you say to a student who wants to get more involved with activities at the school, professionally, and/or in the community?
I would say to do as much as you can! Something that I recommend is to become a nursing assistant. You can do this early on by getting certified, or later in nursing school where you can get hired from having clinical experience. You will become way more comfortable in the patient care setting and still have learning experiences in the eyes of a nursing student. I think that you can also get a better feel for what field of nursing you want to go into.
What tips do you have for other nursing students for succeeding in their studies?
I really appreciate these comments. I make it a point to work hard in school because that is how you learn the most. A tip I have for students is to actively seek out opportunities in clinical. Your clinical instructors will definitely try to provide the best experiences, but don’t wait for opportunities to be handed to you. Go seek them out yourself!
Ask your nurse if you can help her with her other patients, or ask the charge nurse if there’s anything on the floor that you can help with. Not only does it show initiative and interest in learning, but you gain more knowledge and become better prepared. Sometimes, you may never have the same experience again, or not for a long time. The same goes for lectures, ask questions if you don’t understand a topic or if you want to get a better grasp. Also, when you hear people say, “treat every day like an interview,” it’s true! People are watching and taking note of how you are as a student.
What are your goals in nursing? What are your plans for achieving those goals?
My biggest goal in nursing is to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s one thing to treat a condition and it’s another thing to be there for a person. I also love evidenced-based practice. Another goal that I have is to really consider issues or things that need improvement in the unit or hospital I work at and find ways to improve them. One day, I may further my education and go back to school to become an APRN. I say “one day” because I want to appreciate the role of an RN for as long as possible. However, I love learning and I’m interested in eventually having a wider scope of practice.
What do you like to do for fun?
I recently got into playing pickleball with my parents. I used to be a tennis player, but I don’t play much anymore. Pickleball is a lot similar, and it’s really fun! Core yoga is also a new hobby of mine and I love it. Another stress reliever for me is to go to the mall with my friends, even if I’m just window shopping. I also like to learn how to cook new recipes and get my produce from the farmer’s market. Lastly, I love to go to the beach! I don’t surf (I wish I knew how), but I love being in the water and soaking in the sun! My favorite beaches are Nanakuli and Pray for Sets.
Who or what inspires you, and why?
My patients inspire me. As mentioned earlier, I had this patient who I call “the one.” I hold every patient close to my heart but this one patient ignited a new passion for nursing in me. Shortly after becoming a nurse aide, I cared for a patient who had a stroke due to a rare condition. I was in disbelief to see someone so young, not much older than I am, suffer a stroke. The doctors anticipated an extensive road to recovery, with major deficits including the inability to walk and partial loss of speech. I worked with this patient almost every day during their stay, and it was truly inspiring to witness their improvements. To overcome something so traumatic takes so much strength. On the day of that patient’s discharge, we walked up and down the halls all morning and they thanked me for all I had done for them. This patient opened my eyes to how much impact we as healthcare workers can have on a patient’s health and mental wellness. Nursing is so much more than treating symptoms and giving medications, it’s about showing compassion through this vulnerable time in their life.
My family also inspires me. My parents have always been such hardworking people, and they provide so much for my brother and me. My grandma inspires me because even though she has had many difficult times in life, she tells me that she truly has no regrets. She always tells me, “Live for now. Learn to be happy with the life you live in the moment.”