Grad Fulfills Dream to Become a Nurse

Jan. 16, 2014 - by Carol Best

Long-Term Goal Becomes Reality for Alum

By Carol Best
Jan. 16, 2014
Skiles Icon

What would make long-time Californian Karen Skiles leave a 10-year position in Stanford University’s psychiatry department to attend a small university in the middle of the country? The chance to pursue a dream of becoming a nurse and reaching that goal in just one year.

Skiles is one of 40 students who just completed an accelerated nursing degree in December at MidAmerica Nazarene University. The program she completed is particularly rigorous because it allows students with either a bachelor’s degree in another field or about three years of college, to earn a Bachelor of Science in nursing in just one year. MNU’s accelerated BSN is drawing students literally from all over the country because of its reputation and expedited schedule.

MNU’s School of Nursing is one of only about 50 in the nation to receive the coveted Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Careers In Nursing scholarship award. In fact MNU has received it for the last five years and is among only six schools to do so. The award is for students in accelerated programs and is designed to help ease the nursing shortage while getting more diverse populations into the field of nursing.

Having worked for years in education and healthcare, Skiles took a humanitarian trip to Durban, South Africa for Habitat for Humanity in 2001. The experience spurred a desire. Volunteering in the pediatric HIV/AIDS unit of a hospital there, Skiles says she felt “called” to become a nurse or in some way help women and children in underserved areas.

Karen Skiles Habitat BuildSkiles on the Habitat build that launched a dream.

 It would take a good deal of thought, planning, additional college classes, and more than 10 years before she would work out the details and enroll at MNU. Even though Skiles came to the program with impressive credentials including a B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in human services and counseling from DePaul University, she still needed certain prerequisite coursework such as microbiology and anatomy and physiology. MNU accepted her credits from all the previous institutions.

“When you feel you have to do something,” Skiles says, “you just do it.”

It even meant being apart from her husband, Scott, for the duration of the MNU program since his career and their home was in San Francisco.

“Scott has been so supportive with this endeavor,” Skiles says. “He’s been able to visit almost monthly.”

Having in-laws and friends in Olathe made the short-term move easier. Now as a graduate Skiles says it was all worth it.

“The program was very demanding,” she says. “It’s for people who need to get it done. It can get you to your degree very quickly, but you have to be very motivated and self-disciplined.”

Skiles says the professors were wonderful and supportive and she made many friends among the other students.

Skiles Profs Graduation 2013Skiles (middle left) with nursing professors at nurses pinning Dec. 2013.

The next step is to pass her nursing licensure exam and find a nursing position. She’s also traveling on another humanitarian trip, this time to Haiti with Heart to Heart International, the Olathe-based relief organization, in February. The trip is another great opportunity because her long term goal is to work in healthcare with a relief agency.

“You have to leave yourself open to whatever God brings you,” Skiles states. “Don’t close yourself off.”

Great advice to anyone who thinks it’s too late to change careers or achieve their dreams.

Right Rail Content
 

MNU News

Wednesday, January 28
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Student Parishoner2
Church Revived from the Brink

Church Revived from the Brink

They thought they might have to close its doors due to low attendance and a slim budget, but Drexel, Missouri’s Church of the Nazarene was not ready to give up. Now they are experiencing a…

Read More
ChocoRush2015
MNU is Site for 3rd Annual Chocolate Rush

MNU is Site for 3rd Annual Chocolate Rush

Here’s a chance to get some exercise, compete with other runners and enjoy everyone’s favorite treat, chocolate. The Chocolate Rush 5K and Half…

Read More
Beths Packaging
Designer Makes Gift Giving Better

Designer Makes Gift Giving Better

If you bought a gift card and gift card packaging at certain retailers over the holiday season, you may have seen alum Beth (Drege ’10) Laird’s work on display. The graphic designer works for…

Read More
MLK 2015-27
MLK Leader Scholars Honored

MLK Leader Scholars Honored

MNU honored its Martin Luther King Leader Scholars this week. Presented at the 9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Community Celebration, the students received certificates in addition to scholarships…

Read More
New MLK photo
9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

9th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s 9th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration will be held Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., at…

Read More
Jane Martin
It's Never Too Late

It's Never Too Late

Acquiring an education is a feasible goal regardless of a person’s age. This is something MidAmerica Nazarene University nursing student Jane Martin believes with all her heart. Ret. LTC Ken…

Read More
ACBSPnewsroom
School of Business Announces ACBSP Accreditation

School of Business Announces ACBSP Accreditation

MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Business announced today that its programs of study have achieved accreditation by the Accreditation…

Read More
RWJF V2 2014-11Anari
Bringing Healthcare to Most Vulnerable

Bringing Healthcare to Most Vulnerable

Fredrick Anari wants to know his life has had meaning and the nursing profession is how he has chosen to pursue that passion. A student in MNU’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)…

Read More
Quincy Foster
MNU Campus Community Condolences

MNU Campus Community Condolences

Mourning the Loss of Student Quincy Foster Jan. 2, 2015             The MidAmerica Nazarene University community is deeply saddened by the loss of…

Read More
Sports
Balcom Records Career High at Graceland

Balcom Records Career High at Graceland

MNU finished the first half of the HAAC schedule tied for the lead after an 80-65 victory at Graceland on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
70-Point 2nd Half Gives MNU Blowout Victory

70-Point 2nd Half Gives MNU Blowout Victory

MNU trailed by 5 at halftime but exploded for a 103-79 victory at Graceland on Saturday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Finish Strong in Victory Over Avila

Pioneers Finish Strong in Victory Over Avila

A competitive game turned into an 18-point victory as MNU pulled away late on Thursday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
MLK_2015-33 Bob Shands (left) accepts Martin Luther King Living Legacy award on behalf of his late father, Rev. O. Norman Shands, Jr. Dr. David Spittal, MNU president (right).
MLK_2015-27
MLK_2015-23
MLK_2015-18
MLK_2015-8
MLK_2015-6