Going the Distance to Become a Nurse

Aug. 4, 2014 - by Britney Lewis

Becoming A Nurse The Pioneer Way

By Melinda (Ablard ’90) Smith
Aug. 4, 2014
Vanessa Shulte icon

Vanessa Schulte is a true pioneer.

Not only is the Baldwin City resident from a pioneering family—she is a first-generation American whose parents are from Laos—but also she is the first in her family to complete a bachelor’s degree.

So when Schulte decided to return to college for a nursing degree it was fitting that she would choose the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing (ABSN) program at MidAmerica Nazarene University, home of the Pioneers.

“I believe nurses embody MNU’s mission, the mission to have a ‘pioneering spirit’ by encompassing the drive and passion to move forward through any obstacles we face,” Schulte says. “Nurses live purposefully because they are providing care for those who are sick, in pain or even fighting for their very lives.”

Schulte learned early to embrace that pioneering spirit. Her youth was challenging at times because of what she calls her “culturally and ethnically different” upbringing.

But what Schulte once saw as an obstacle she now views as an advantage as she prepares to enter the nursing field.

“Others did not understand my cultural differences or even why my father and mother were difficult to understand at times,” she says. “I believe that being ethnically different than others allows me to see past a person’s physical appearance and behaviors and delve into their real problems and connect personally with them.”

Schulte’s pioneering spirit also has helped her garner a one-time $10,000 scholarship from MNU’s School of Nursing and Health Science through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: New Careers in Nursing (RWJF NCIN) program. The MNU scholarship is awarded to select applicants who are from a population underrepresented in the nursing field, traditionally men and minorities, or who have significant financial need.  It is specifically designated for the ABSN program, which offers students the opportunity to earn a nursing degree in one year.

Although Schulte earlier earned a biology degree from Baker University, she opted to stay home with her then 2-month-old daughter after graduation. When she did enter the job market a few months later and was unable to find work in her field, she took an office job at a car dealership.

But Schulte’s husband, Brett, knew her heart wasn’t in office work. So he encouraged her to go back to school to pursue something more fulfilling. That something was healthcare.

Growing up, Schulte had accompanied her father, who was not proficient in English, to all his doctor’s appointments and had acted as his translator. However, it was her late grandfather who really inspired her to take the path she is now walking.

“My grandfather’s passing from gastric and colon cancer really sparked my urge to care for those who have cancer,” she says of her decision to become an oncology nurse.

When Schulte finishes her training at MNU, she wants not only to work with cancer patients but also to incorporate the latest technology and holistic practices into her nursing.

And she wants to share that pioneering spirit with others.

“I believe that nursing is the most humble of all careers,” Schulte says. “It is a calling by God to follow His way and champion individuals in need. To me, that life means going the distance to touch just one life for the better when they are unable to do so for themselves.”  

MidAmerica Nazarene University has received the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: New Careers in Nursing (RWJF NCIN) grant the past six years and uses the money to fund Accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing scholarships. Over the years, the school has awarded 45 NCIN scholarships. The goal of the RWJF grant is to help alleviate the nursing shortage, to diversify the workplace and to bolster faculty and leadership. 

 

 

MNU News

Sunday, April 19
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
3D Car
MNU Awarded 3D Printers for Mabee Library

MNU Awarded 3D Printers for Mabee Library

MNU is the recent recipient of an in-kind grant of four 3D System “CUBE” printers, which will create a MakerSpace in Mabee Library. Pictured…

Read More
Pres Honors Stage
2015 President’s Honors Breaks Record

2015 President’s Honors Breaks Record

The fourth annual President’s Honors was a memorable night honoring individuals to whom the very existence of the university is owed. President David Spittal bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award…

Read More
Blake Gold Brain
Blake Claims 7X7 Award

Blake Claims 7X7 Award

Tyler Blake, PhD, professor of English, and 1988 MNU grad, claimed the coveted Golden Brain Award at last week's 7X7 Challenge during MNU's second annual Week of Scholarship.  Blake's…

Read More
CD-Cover-Art
Choirs to Debut New CD at Concert

Choirs to Debut New CD at Concert

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts will debut their CD, On With the Show, at their annual pops concert Sunday, April 19 at 3:30 p.m. in Bell Cultural Events Center. The CD was recorded…

Read More
Presidents-1-2
Presidents On Campus for Gala

Presidents On Campus for Gala

On campus to attend President's Honors tonight are four of MNU's presidents. Enjoying the weather on the Campus Mall are current President David Spittal and past presidents Dr. Ed Robinson, Dr. Don…

Read More
Najarian from Outcomes Pub
MNU Alum Olathe Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Najarian

MNU Alum Olathe Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Najarian

It didn’t take holding down a lioness during surgery for Lisa Najarian, Biology Major ’07, to be affirmed in her calling. Usually it comes just…

Read More
Cunninghams LifetimeAchievementAward PH15
MNU Awards Lifetime Achievement to Drs. Paul G. and Connie R. Cunningham

MNU Awards Lifetime Achievement to Drs. Paul G. and Connie R. Cunningham

MNU will honor Drs. Paul G. and Connie R. Cunningham with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 President’s Honors April 10 in Cook Center at…

Read More
AcademicIcon
New Agreement Will Result in More Earned Degrees

New Agreement Will Result in More Earned Degrees

The Kansas Association of Community College Trustees (KACCT) and the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA), of which MNU is a member,…

Read More
WoSBanner
Week of Scholarship April 7-10

Week of Scholarship April 7-10

MNU’s second annual Week of Scholarship is April 7 through 10, 2015, and highlights student and faculty achievement at MNU. The public is encouraged to attend and most events are free of…

Read More
Sports
Pearcy's No-No Highlights Sweep

Pearcy's No-No Highlights Sweep

Taylor Pearcy's no-hitter in Game 2 completed an exciting sweep of Peru State on Friday...(click title for more)

 
Spring Game Slated for Saturday, April 25

Spring Game Slated for Saturday, April 25

Coach Brian Willmer and the 2014 HAAC Champs have announced the date for the Spring Game...(click title for more)

 
MNU Ranked #9 in NAIA Spring Poll

MNU Ranked #9 in NAIA Spring Poll

Full story here

 
Latest Photos
Mr. Chad and Dr. Jeannie Williams hosted the evening's activities
A record crowd attended the 2015 President's Honors
President & Mrs. Spittal at MNU's 2015 President's Honors
Dr. Paul Cunningham, co-recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Dr. David Spittal
The extended Paul & Connie Cunningham family
Our 2015 President's Honors hosts, Mr. Chad & Dr. Jeannie Williams