Mikaela shared her challenges adjusting to college life, “Life was an uphill climb after high school. I went to CSU, Sacramento to participate in their honors program and take their pre-nursing courses and it was a hard adjustment. I had to reestablish myself in a big school, maintain high honors, adjust to dorm life, and make new friends.” Her anxiety grew as each consecutive class felt harder than the one before, “I placed a lot of pressure on myself to achieve strong academics to ensure a strong application for nursing school.” Prioritization, determination, and commitment were the three goals Mikaela lived by in college and lives by today.
All the hard work paid off when she entered the nursing program at CSU, Stanislaus. The nursing program at CSU Stanislaus is a three-year program that incorporates a public health nurse (PHN) curriculum and allows students to rotate between four different hospital settings. Mikaela said she realized she was entering a profession which requires great responsibility, “I was totally intimidated by it. I felt like a little fish in a big ocean, but I knew I could make a difference in people’s lives and that motivated me every day along with my faith in God.”
Currently, Mikaela is a registered nurse in her post-baccalaureate nurse residency program (PBNR) at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, “This program helps new grads transition into the nursing profession and allows me to rotate through all the units within the hospital as well as get more in-depth responsibilities. I get to meet, talk, and treat all the members of the Armed Forces, which is such an honor and privilege.”
Nursing is part of her DNA. Mikaela’s mom has been a nurse for 20+ years. “My Mom inspires me each day to be a better nurse and make a difference for our Veterans,” said Mikaela. Her mom is a Community Care Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mikaela also volunteers for 7 Cups, a secure, online health service that provides emotional and therapeutic support anonymously. She found 7 Cups when she was searching for ways to help others, and it was an opportunity to improve her therapeutic listening skills to become a better registered nurse. “Working at 7 Cups has taught me how to connect with people and help them learn how to process their emotions and solve problems on their own to improve their self-confidence and their mental state. It has been an amazing experience.”
“My favorite memory at Carondelet was One Billion Rising Day. It felt so empowering and unifying to be with all the women dancing together. I loved every moment and feel lucky that I attended a school that integrates something powerful for women and considers the students own feelings of strength and courage,” remarked Mikaela.