Nursing major Jamie Platt, Class of 2017, stays pretty busy between her work for school and caring for her three children. Jamie has known she wanted to go into the medical field ever since she read a Saint Jude’s article as a teenager. Now, after ten years of medical assisting, Jamie has decided to go to nursing school and pursue her dream of lactation consulting.
When looking at schools, Grand Valley’s nursing program stuck out to her because she had heard that Grand Valley educated nurses were highly sought after in the health care field. As a Kirkhof College of Nursing student, she finds herself even busier than before. “We have theory class each week, a community health rotation each semester, LEI clients, clinical rotation two days a week, and also lab and simulation.”
Jamie particularly enjoys the variety of clinicals that Grand Valley offers – nursing homes, rehab facilities, mental health facilities, and hospitals all offer different learning opportunities. “Clinicals are great because we’re broken into smaller groups. We get more attention from our clinical faculty and a lot of one-on-one time with the nurses at the clinical site.” Paired with the hands on work in lab and community service in her community health rotations, KCON students receive a comprehensive range of learning experiences.
Earlier this year, Jamie found that her hard work has paid off. In September, she became the first ever recipient of the Kirkhof College of Nursing Alumni Endowment Scholarship. “At first I didn’t know I was the first recipient; when I did find out, it made a little bit more special. It’s nice to be recognized by the peers in your profession.”
As a full-time student struggling financially, the scholarship helped to lift a portion of her financial burden. “I am currently only able to go to school through scholarships and my own money because I am ineligible for any federal loans. Without this scholarship, I would not be in school right now.” Many students know the financial struggle paying for college can be. Jamie not only pays for her tuition and books, but as a nursing student, she is responsible for equipment, scrubs, and the cost of driving to her clinical sites.
With the Kirkhof College of Nursing Alumni Endowment Scholarship, Jamie was able to continue her schooling and grow her interest in community work. “The school of nursing has shown me through the community health work we do that there is a lot of need in our community. I hope one day to have a part in changing the legislation to better support breast feeding mothers in the workplace.”
West Michigan is in need of Grand Valley educated nurses, and many of them, like Jamie, can only go to school with the assistance of scholarship and other financial aid. Supporting a student through a scholarship will in turn support our community. “KCON equips students to be active in the community. Nursing students are able to do wonderful things in West Michigan thanks to the help of scholarships like the one I received.”