It All Began with a Dream
Jamie Reynolds, a Fall 2019 graduate, was inspired to become a nurse after witnessing the impact care teams had on her late older sister Jessica.
Growing up in Apple Valley, MN, Jessica was constantly in and out of hospitals due to her autoimmune hepatitis. Jamie was just four years old when Jessica had her first of four total liver transplants.
“With each transplant, I grew more involved in her care and became her personal nurse at home. I even used to leave a bell in her room for her to ring if she needed anything.”
As Jamie’s involvement in her sister’s care increased, the greater she personally recognized and appreciated the impact nurses can have on people’s lives. After Jessica passed away in 2013, Jamie was determined to turn her dream of studying nursing into a reality—and what better place to do so than Winona?
Well-Equipped Training Goes a Long Way
While reflecting on her college education, Jamie described just how incredible a job WSU does with preparing students for their careers in nursing.
Students receive hands-on experience in their field through hospital clinical rotations each semester. Additionally, students in their third and fourth term of the nursing program complete their community health clinical.
Jamie completed her clinicals at a variety of institutions, including:
- Winona Health
- Gundersen Health System
- Children’s Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis
- Bridges Health Winona
These experiences have given Jamie the opportunity to work with people of all ages, from diverse cultures and with different levels of acuity. She believes her courses and clinicals have prepared her well to enter the nursing profession and achieve success.
A Leader Making Connections on Her Downtime
During her time at WSU, Jamie was active in the nursing field in and out of the classroom. She has been a part of the Winona State Nursing Club for two years. She has also held a leadership position in the organization as MSNA Chair for one year.
Through this pre-professional club, Jamie had the opportunity to attend a conference hosted by the Minnesota Student Nurses’ Association last year. The conference allowed her to network with other nursing students and nursing professionals—a moment that marked a significant milestone in her journey.
Why Study Nursing, Anyway?
Beside her personal connection to nursing, Jamie believes studying and working in her field greatly improves our world.
“I am not only given the opportunity to individually help people in the hospital, but also positively impact them on a societal level.”
Ultimately, nursing is a discipline that is constantly adapting to the world’s needs, so it is something that will keep Jamie on her toes and guessing what’s next.
On to the Next Chapter
Jamie has accepted her dream job as an RN on the solid organ transplant floor at the University of Minnesota Clinical Center, which she will pursue following commencement and passing her boards exams.
“I am incredibly excited to work alongside many of the nurses who provided care for my sister and ultimately inspired me to study nursing.”
And to think it all began with a dream—follow yours at Winona State University!
This was a wonderful article to read!
I applaud Jamie on her determination to pursue her nursing degree. It is a challenge to get into the program..and it’s not a “cakewalk” one you are enrolled.
I have been married to a pediatric nurse for forty-one years and she has told me numerous stories of the how “intense” the nursing can be in the pediatric intensive care unit. The skill level is impressive.