Daniela Dial is headed to Edmond. Josh Meggett is destined to land in Duncan.
Rendi Nichols will follow her passion and wind up in Okmulgee.
Upon graduating from the University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, the three will scatter to the four winds to begin their respective nursing careers.
But no matter how far their careers take them they will always remember where they started and the education that got them there.
Julie Anne Hoff, dean of the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, beams with pride when OU Nursing students head out into the world.
“These students demonstrate the compassion, curiosity, and courage of OU nurses,” she said. “Despite COVID, they each successfully persevered in their studies and job search. I am so proud of the academic and personal accomplishments OU nursing students achieved the last year and a half. I know each will contribute to our 110 year legacy of improving health sooner.”
This year during National Nurses’ Month, thousands of nursing students across the country will begin their transition into a role they’ve only dreamed of.
“It’s difficult to put into words how exciting it is that I am almost a registered nurse,” said Meggett, who plans on working at Duncan Regional after completing his degree at OU’s Lawton campus. “The sense of accomplishment and feeling of gratification of almost being at the finish line is the greatest reward for all the late nights studying and the early mornings waking up for clinical.” As he nears the finish line, Meggett has a sense of the gravity of what he’s about to undertake.
“Becoming a nurse is important to me because we as nurses get to be there in arguably the worst times of an individual’s life and get to make a positive impact in their life, to celebrate with our patients when we see improvement and to celebrate again when the patient gets to discharge and return to their normal life,” he said. “The impact of a great nurse on a patient’s hospital experience can completely change a patient’s life for the better and I strive to be that great nurse.”
Dial plans on working for OU Health Edmond after graduating from the OKC campus. She’s equal parts excited, overjoyed and overwhelmed as she begins her nursing career.
“I am beyond excited to graduate, but terrified at the same time,” she said. “I am currently working in the ER for clinicals and it is scary. My professor said working in the ER means you’re a jack of all trades but a master at none and she is absolutely right.”
“I love it though, the people are the ones who have made all the difference. OU Health Edmond is such an incredible place. Everyone feels like family and goes out of their way to make sure I understand what I am doing and help each other out. The ER nurses really want me to succeed and are absolutely the best people.”
For Nichols, her journey through the College of Nursing’s Tulsa campus will end as a registered nurse at Muscogee Creek Nation Medical Center in Okmulgee.
The Ponca Tribe member feels reverence in what she’s about to embark on and looks back in awe at what she’s accomplished.
“I am very confident in the education I have received at the University of Oklahoma,” she said. “OU provides numerous opportunities which allowed me to gain new skills and knowledge through simulations, labs, clinicals, and the Bedlam clinic.”
“OU professors are dedicated to each student succeeding. I am certain I will provide the utmost, quality nursing care thanks to my OU education.”
Looking back, Meggett knows he had a lot of people pulling for him.
“The faculty here at OU Nursing’s Lawton Campus have been nothing short of miracle workers in their ability to educate us and always be there for us when a problem arises,” Meggett said. “I came to this program and faculty as an unsure, unbelievably nervous pre-nursing major and – with their assistance – have grown into a confident and competent student registered nurse ready to take on whatever the shift may throw my way. I can’t thank the faculty enough for the time and work they invested into making us great.”
And support like that will follow OU nurses wherever they go.