Meet our next student spotlight, Meg Cutler! Meg was born in Bountiful, the youngest of six kids. When her father was called as a mission president, the family relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Meg recalled that her family had eight or nine bunk beds in the basement where missionaries stayed when they came in or left the mission. As a result, she got to know many of the missionaries and the mission field itself. “It made me not want to go on a mission,” she laughed. “I saw the best and worst parts of missions. I got to sit in on testimony meetings when missionaries left, and I knew I wanted that, too.”
Meg’s second oldest sister is a nurse and was Meg’s initial inspiration to become a nurse herself. “I wanted to do something in school that was a marketable career,” Meg said. “But I hate blood.” There was a particularly traumatic experience that Meg still remembers clearly. “I fainted in a movie theater with my dad watching this movie because there was tons of blood, and I said, ‘I’m not going to be a nurse.’” But despite this, Meg began the prerequisites for nursing just to try it out. She also completed prerequisite classes for BYU’s accounting program. After a study abroad in Jerusalem and a mission to Santiago, Chile, Meg signed up for the last nursing prerequisite: anatomy. “I went to the hospital and saw all these bodily fluids and dropped anatomy,” she said. After some convincing from her father, however, Meg finished the course.
She applied and was accepted to both the accounting and nursing programs. “It took me a month to decide,” Meg said. “I chose nursing because I love health and learning about the human body.” She’s still overcoming her phobia of blood, but hearing from a General Surgeon about how he passed out the first month on the job made her feel better.
Meg’s career goals include working in the PICU or NICU. Eventually, she will return to school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner and focus on women’s health. “I just read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates,” she said. “I learned that the key to lifting people out of poverty is focusing on women and their rights and their health.”
Nursing school has not been the easiest thing for Meg, but she’s found ways to navigate it. She expressed to current and incoming students, “Go to office hours. Talk to professors. They are willing to help.” She emphasized, “Look at the week-to-week and try not to get overwhelmed by the whole picture. Focus on actually learning the material. There are so many times when we get hyper-focused on the tests, but the times I’ve enjoyed my learning experience the most is when I just wanted to learn the material.”
Meg has had the opportunity to research with a religion professor. “As members of the Church, we put a lot of emphasis on Gethsemane,” Meg stated. “My professor did a study where he asked people which pictures they would hang in their home: one of Jesus on the cross or one of Jesus in Gethsemane. Members of the LDS church all chose Gethsemane while Catholics and other Christians almost always chose the cross.” As she looked into different aspects of the Atonement, Meg looked for why the LDS faith focuses so heavily on Gethsemane. “The whole arc of the research was to increase our understanding of the Crucifixion to the depth of understanding that we have about Gethsemane,” Meg explained. Now, Meg wears a cross. “It’s such a beautiful symbol of Jesus Christ and His love and suffering, and that’s all part of the Atonement,” Meg testified. She now feels she has a more holistic understanding of Christ’s Atonement. “I would love to see the cross become a symbol that unites us as Christians,” Meg said. “It’s a really beautiful point to build upon with other people.”
We are so grateful for Meg and her contribution to the nursing program. We can’t wait to see all the things she achieves and accomplishes!