University of Minnesota

Nursing Student Profile

Name: Callista Smith
Graduation Year:

Callista Smith

How and why did you choose your major?

Coming into school I had always known that I wanted to do something in the medical field, I just wasn't sure what. After my  first semester my freshman year, I decided that I wanted to go the nursing route. The School of Nursing here at the University of Minnesota has a fantastic reputation, and after taking a couple of the prerequisite courses I knew this was the profession for me! Working with and caring for people is what nursing is all about, yet there is such a science and critical thinking aspect I knew I would never get bored working as a nurse.

Please give a description (in your words) of your major including the things you learn, favorite classes, and any challenges you have faced.

The nursing major is a very hands-on program. Starting the first semester there are classes in the nursing lab working different skills and using real life situations to put the skills to use. Starting in the second year of the program we are placed in hospital and other nursing field settings and it is really exciting how quickly we learn to be nurses. My favorite classes by far are my clinicals. Each shift is a new patient and a new challenge, which always keeps me on my toes and makes me think, which I love.

What types of experiences outside of the classroom have you had relating to your major? (i.e. clubs, jobs, internships, volunteering, study abroad etc.)

There are so many opportunities to be in clubs, hold internships, and volunteer that are related to the nursing major. I have been a part of many different things, but my favorite experience has been studying abroad. I went to India for a summer to shadow physicians and experience the Indian healthcare. It is so different from our own and I loved being able to compare and contrast the different systems and see how these physicians care for their patients. It is an experience that I will never forget, and it has motivated me further with regards to my nursing career.

In your opinion, what is one thing, or one piece of advice that other students pursuing your major should know?

While I do not want to discourage anyone from applying, the one thing that students should know is how competitive it is to get into the program. Prior to applying, students should focus on getting as much experience in healthcare settings that they can. Grades are important as well, but having experiences that assure the people reviewing the application that you are certain you want to be a nurse will help immensely. Also, after applying once if you get denied REAPPLY!!! I wasn't accepted my first time applying but it took that extra year for me to realize this was the program I really did want to be a part of. Being denied once does not mean your nursing goals are done, keep working towards them and you will get there!

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