By Jonathan Schroeder
Graduation is still four months away, but many soon-to-be-graduated BYU nursing students are already looking forward to the future. Gone will be the days of stressful midterms, mountains of flashcards and hours of homework. These fifty-seven young professionals will soon enter the vast realm of the workforce — a prospect that many capstone students say has them feeling both excited…and a little intimidated.
“As I think about my first day in the clinical setting as an RN, I feel both excited and terrified,” Ashley Dyer shares. “There will be so much expected of me — so much I should know and so much I could forget.”
“I think a mentor would be super helpful for this transition from school to the real world…because honestly I’m terrified,” classmate Jessica Small adds. “I’m sure capstone is going to prepare us well but it would be nice to have someone outside of the college to ask questions and get help from.”
For BYU Nursing alumni like Christina Mack (BS ’09), this is what she loves most about the BYU Speed Networking Luncheon.
“Nursing students have so many questions….I like to help build their confidence and reassure them that they’re going to do a great job and be a wonderful nurse.”
The BYU College of Nursing Speed Networking Luncheon is a unique event that allows capstone students to interact and network with nursing professionals and alumni. At the start of the activity, alumni are stationed at specific tables with a group of students. The groups are then given twelve minutes to network and ask questions. At the end of the time, the alumni rotate to a different table; allowing alumni to get to know a new group of students — all while enjoying a special lunch provided by the College of Nursing.
“Many nursing students don’t know what to expect after graduation,” Mack says of most students who attend the event. “They are usually just anxious about the unknown. By networking with these students, I can help give them guidance and answer many of their questions.”
“I absolutely love talking to students,” Gregg Hale adds. “It’s my favorite part of my job.”
Hale is a senior recruiter for Steward Health Care. Like Mack, he enjoys interacting with the students (in addition to the tasty BYU Mint Brownies that come with the luncheon). But most importantly, Hale says he enjoys helping these students gain insight into their future careers.
Hale believes it is crucial for new nurses to have a good mentor as they start their careers. Nursing school may prepare you to be a nurse, but the first 3-6 months of working teaches you how to actually be a nurse.
“The connections I made with other people, as a BYU Nursing graduate, are one of the main reasons I am where I am today,” Mack adds. “I think the best way that I can give back, as a BYU Alumni, is to help other nursing students do the same.”