Our next student spotlight is second-semester student Mikayla Shefchik! She is the oldest of three and lived in South Georgia for ten years before moving to Arkansas. When deciding on a college, Mikayla looked to her parents as an example. “Hearing the stories about how much my parents loved Brigham Young University made me want to go there, too,” she said.
Mikayla recalled the story of how she decided to become a nurse. “My dad is a businessman, and I used to talk with him about it growing up,” she began. “I always wanted to do business. I also loved foreign languages and learning about different cultures. So I thought I would study international business.” She continued, “I was praying about it my last year of high school, and God never told me not to pursue business. He just confirmed that it was a good choice.”
As she prepared to leave for BYU, everything changed for Mikayla. “I had a father’s [Priesthood] blessing two weeks before I left,” she recalled. Having already declared a pre-business major, Mikayla was signed up for all necessary prerequisites. “In my blessing, my dad shared that I needed to consider nursing as my major.” This completely shifted the trajectory of her schooling. Without family members in the field, Mikayla looked toward clinicians in her community for advice. After speaking with many nurses, doing research on the field, and compiling a pros and cons list, she prayed about her major and decided to become a nurse. “I changed all my classes to pre-nursing and finished all the prereqs before I went on my mission,” she explained. While her father’s blessing greatly impacted her, it also touched other lives. Besides the patients and colleagues she’ll be working with, Mikayla’s younger sister, Mackenzie, plans to follow in her footsteps by applying to BYU’s nursing program.
Before starting at the College of Nursing, Mikayla served Spanish-speaking in the Texas McAllen mission. Mikayla applied and was accepted to the program while serving her mission. She still uses her Spanish as a student as part of the La Cruz Roja (Red Cross) Volunteer Club. This club helps Hispanic populations in the Provo area by giving them free CPR training, first aid, and disaster preparation classes.
Learning about the Healer’s art has been important for Mikayla as she’s studied at BYU. “When I came home from my mission, I wanted to be part of something that would make me feel the same sense of purpose that I had in the field,” she remembered. “I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do something that made me feel as if I was doing the Lord’s work.” Throughout studying nursing, however, Mikayla has grown to feel that nursing gives her that sense of fulfillment. “One thing the Spirit’s been teaching me in the nursing program is how nursing is the Lord’s work,” she testified. “I don’t have that fear anymore of coming home from a mission and not feeling purposeful because to me, nursing is the most purposeful career there is. Nursing is exemplifying the Master Healer.”
“I’m not entirely sure what I want to do with nursing,” Mikayla admitted. “But one thing that I appreciate about it is that you can decide to change what your focus is in the middle of your career. That’s something that makes me super excited because I know I’ll never get bored.” She has also spent time considering becoming a nurse practitioner. The idea of working with different populations throughout her career particularly interests her. “I’d like to work with vulnerable populations, whether it’s Hispanic communities or refugee communities, or disabled individuals. I would like to work with those that are most vulnerable.” Though not entirely set in her post-graduate plans, Mikayla likes the idea of continuing her education. “I love school and learning new things.”
Mikayla enjoys many activities outside of school. She loves cooking, drawing and has a particular fondness for dance. “I love dancing,” she declared. “I don’t necessarily have an innate talent for it, but I like learning new kinds of dance.” She’s taken classes at BYU, such as international and Polynesian dance, and even performed in the BYU luau last semester. About her interest in dancing, Mikayla explained, “This is just something I picked up a few years ago, and it’s so much fun.” She also enjoys watching movies and has varied tastes, from the thought-provoking Interstellar to the laugh-inducing Nacho Libre.
We are so excited to watch Mikayla progress as a nurse at BYU at the College of Nursing!