By Lyndee Johns
Fifth-semester student Laura Fisher lives for the high-pressure situations.
“I’ve only had two codes on my floor,” says Fisher, referring to the medical oncology floor at the Intermountain Medical Center where she works as a CNA. “But I get a clear head when a code comes on and I just kind of know what to do and I’m ready to do it.”
A Utah native, Fisher’s interest in nursing sparked while attending Waterford, a liberal-arts centered private school. Recognizing that she had a multitude of interests, Fisher asked her parents for recommendations on what to focus on. Her parents said that she would make a great nurse. After considering it, Fisher decided to focus on nursing.
Originally her path led her to Westminster College, where she was accepted into the nursing program directly after high school. “I learned a lot, but at the end of the first year, I didn’t feel right about it,” Fisher says.
With five months to go before Fisher’s mission, her mother encouraged her to take a spring semester at BYU. It was then that Fisher discovered her love for BYU, enjoying the uplifting environment and the opportunities to learn at a deeper level.
After her mission to Mexico, Fisher returned to BYU. But her plans hit a temporary snag when she applied for the nursing program and didn’t get in.
But a week later, she received a call telling her that a spot had opened up.
“I was in the middle of Spanish class, and I was sobbing in joy,” says Fisher. “And I was like ‘This is it . . . Heavenly Father has been directing me this way.’”
One moment that has stood out to her during her time in the nursing program was the first clinical day. “The night before, I was so scared,” Fisher says. But when she went into the day, determined to do her best, she found herself pleasantly surprised. “I was having a ball. I loved it, and the time went super, super fast.”
When she noticed that one of the other girls was having a hard time, Fisher sat down to reassure her. “I said, ‘You just gotta go, just get through the day, and you’re gonna be glad you did.’ And I think it changed her. And it made me feel good because I was talking to myself through her, you know?”
“I know so much more than I did that first day at clinical. And it’s just going to keep going like that. That’s what nursing is, just always learning. You’re always having to prepare and increase your skills.”
Fisher’s compassion and love of talking to people have also served her well as a CNA. When a terminal patient told her she only had a month to live, Fisher was able to provide some comfort. “She was just like, ‘I haven’t been a good person. Do you think there’s any hope?’ And I got to have a missionary experience. I sat down and shared ‘You know, Heavenly Father loves you, and He’s gonna make it work.’”
In addition to being a CNA and a nursing student, Fisher is also a violinist. She continues to take lessons at BYU, and has been teaching violin for the past seven years.
After graduating, Fisher has no intention of giving her adrenal glands a rest. She plans to work either in the labor delivery room, the emergency room, or the ICU. “I want to do the adrenalin-high stuff while I can,” says Fisher. While not positive about her long-term plans, Fisher considers nurse midwife a definite possibility. “I love working with babies. They’re so pure and helpless, and so you’ve gotta help them,” she says.
Fisher’s advice for incoming nursing students? “Don’t compare yourself to other students. Compare yourself to you . . . There’s always gonna be students smarter than you and better at things than you, students that don’t need to study nearly as much as you do . . . But you’re unique. You got accepted for a reason. Trust in your own ability.”