#MeetSDStateNursing – Megan

This week we’re featuring Megan LaVergne for #MeetSDStateNursing! Megan is a third semester student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on the Brookings main campus. She is also a Spanish major and plans to minor in biology. Her hometown is meganCold Spring, MN.

Megan wants to be a nurse so she can impact as many people as she can and help make a difference in people’s lives. She hopes to make them smile a little more than usual.

On campus, Megan is involved with Intramural Sports, Spanish Club and she is an Admissions Ambassador. She also ran her first marathon in the summer of 2018 and loved every minute of it!

In the future, Megan would love to be an international nurse and work in Latin America or Spanish speaking countries.

Her advice to fellow students is if you want to do something, go for it. Don’t let someone tell you its not possible, because if you are willing to put in the time, the effort and adjust your schedule a little bit, anything is possible.


#MeetSDStateNursing – Emily

Meet Emily! Emily is graduating this week from the Rapid City site! She is from Tyndall, SD. Emily knew at a young age that she wanted to be a nurse, but as she got older, her passion for nursing has grown. Through a career in nursing, she hopes to be a sense of comfort and assurance for patients. Emily said, “If I can improve the life of just one patient, then I know that I am doing what I am meant to do.”

Emily tutored for third semester students this past semester, and she volunteers as much as she can for Student Nurses Association.

To fellow students, Emily said, “It is very important to focus your time on studying, but it is just as important to enjoy your free time and make amazing college memories while you can.”

Emily’s goal is to be a hospital nurse. She is interested in the intensive care and emergency. Emily said, “A far future goal of mine is to get a master’s in nursing education so that I can make an impact on student’s lives as my professors have made an impact on mine.”

#MeetSDStateNursing – Natasha Hesse

IMG_8088This week we’re featuring Natasha Hesse for #MeetSDStateNursing! Natasha is a second semester student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on the Brookings main campus. Her hometown is Bismarck, ND.

Natasha wants to be a nurse so she can be a person that helps people at their most vulnerable times. She wants to help them grow from the experiences they are going through. As a nurse, she sees herself having the opportunity to do this every day.

On campus, Natasha is involved with Body Project, Key Honors Society, HEROH (Helping Everyone Reach Optimal Health), Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College and is a community assistant for Residential Life.

In the future, Natasha wants to work as an obstetrics nurse and eventually go back to school to become a nurse practitioner.

Her advice to fellow students is to be willing to meet other nursing students. Natasha said, “They will become some of your greatest friends. Not only will they help you study for your classes, they will make every moment even more enjoyable.”

#MeetSDStateNursing – Kirsten León

Kirsten at Black Elk Peak, located in the Black Hills National Forest in western South Dakota. She and some classmates visited during their break.

This week we’re featuring Kirsten León for #MeetSDStateNursing! Kirsten is a fourth semester student in the Aberdeen accelerated nursing program. Her hometown is Detroit, MI.

Kirsten is drawn to the critical thinking involved in nursing. She said, “There are many different solutions to problems patients may have and with nursing, you have to figure out what’s best for that certain patient. Everyday is different and everyday you learn something new.” Kirsten is involved in the student nurses association.
In the future, Kirsten wants to work as a nurse in the military, then hopefully continue her education and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
Her advice to future students to take breaks. She said, “Studying 24/7 doesn’t result in good grades, but organization, time management and a little fun when warranted can.”


#MeetSDStateNursing – Tabitha Townsend

indexThis week we’re featuring Tabitha Townsend for #MeetSDStateNursing! Tabitha is a second semester student in the Standard Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the Brookings main campus. Her hometown is Wausau, Wisconsin. Tabitha wanted to become a nurse so she could make a difference in the lives of those around her. She was inspired by her grandmother and her father. Between helping her grandmother push patients wheelchairs around the nursing home and attending anesthesiologist conferences with her father, Tabitha has always had an interest in the healthcare field. Her father, Gary Townsend, graduated with a degree in nursing from South Dakota State University (SDSU) in December ’87. He is now a CRNA in Wisconsin.

Tabitha sees nursing as an opportunity for herself . She said “it is so much more than caring for someone.

“Nursing is providing, educating, being an advocate and communicating to a patient to provide comfort and decrease anxiety.”

Tabitha looks forward to making a difference in the lives of her patients and those around her. In the future she hopes to work at a hospital for a while and then continue school to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Her plans are to stay in the Midwest.

Tabitha is the current Vice President of Alpha Xi Delta at SDSU. She helps coordinate sisterhoods, socials and risk management events. She plans to become involved in Student Nurses Association in December when Alpha Xi Delta has their officer transition. She is also involved in the Hobo Day Committee. She was the 2018 security coordinator. In that position she coordinated the security details for the Hobo Day parade. index2

To future students, Tabitha said, “Don’t feel like you have to go through the program alone. Nursing can be overwhelming but with the right support, you can make it through. Build a support system of people that care about you. Find nursing students who have similar study habits and prepare for exams and simulation together. It helps reduce anxiety and build confidence.”

Tabitha learned right away as a nursing student that “getting an answer wrong can sometimes teach you more than getting it right by reading the rationales and applying the example to a clinical situation.”

index3Every summer Tabitha attends her hometown hot air balloon rally with her family. She said, “it reminds me that no matter where life takes me, I will always have the support to make it through my biggest struggle.”


Warne receives Spirit of Dakota award

SofD - Winner Banquet Pic)

Bev Warne, College of Nursing Adjunct Instructor received the 2018 Spirit of Dakota Award last weekend in Huron.

The Spirit of Dakota Award is an annual honor bestowed each fall by the Spirit of Dakota Award Society at a state-wide event at the Crossroads Hotel & Huron Event Center. The Spirit of Dakota award is given to:

  • An outstanding South Dakota woman who has demonstrated leadership qualities and has been successful and admired in her community and state.
  • A woman with roots deep in Dakota whose courage and strength of character have helped develop her family and community.
  • A woman who has represented social, cultural, and education advancement for others.
  • This award is not Mother of the Year, nor Teacher of the Year, nor categorized but rather a recognition of those outstanding women who have been the symbols of all that we are proud of in our Prairie Women.
  • The nominee does not need to be a native of South Dakota, but must be a current, living resident of the state.

Read more about Bev on the Huron Daily Plainsman site.

#MeetSDStateNursing – What it’s like to participate in the White Coat Ceremony

McGrann, MichaelaA nursing student answers questions about what her White Coat Ceremony was like.

Michaela McGrann

Semester: One

Program: Accelerated BSN (Sioux Falls site)

Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD

The White Coat welcomes nursing students to the beginning of their professional career and the first semester in the professional nursing major. During the first semester of the nursing major, students begin to provide care to patients. Nurses are privileged to participate in many intimate moments in patients’ lives. This privilege brings new levels of responsibility for the nursing student. The White Coat is symbolic of the professional standards that will be upheld by the nursing student. As the nursing student is cloaked in the White Coat, he or she is welcomed to the larger nursing community and profession of nursing.

When does the White Coat Ceremony take place?

The College of Nursing White Coat Ceremony at South Dakota State University occurs early in the student’s first semester in the professional nursing program. It is held that semester to emphasize the change from student to professional nurse. It is at that point that patient care really begins. Ceremonies are held in Aberdeen, Brookings, Rapid City and Sioux Falls.

What was the atmosphere like at the White Coat Ceremony? Are families invited?

You could tell that the faculty and attendees were elated and proud. The students were ecstatic for the ceremony and for the opportunity to see their guests who traveled near and far to see this event. Students could invite family or friends.

What happens at the White Coat Ceremony?

The ceremony started with a welcoming address by the Assistant Dean, Dr. Horsley, and a keynote address by Instructor and Simulation Site Coordinator, Alyssa Zweifel. The rest of the ceremony consisted of the Presentation of Coats. the recitation of the Professional Nursing Pledge and closing statements. Lastly, there was a reception outside of the hall for students, guests and faculty.

What does the White Coat symbolize to you?

The white coat represents the beginning of a long, life journey. It is the potential and responsibility we have to grow professionally and personally during that journey. The coat also symbolizes our joining the family of SDSU nursing and our futures together in healthcare.

Do you have any tips or advice about the ceremony?

Pay attention because everything said will guide you through the nursing program and into your career as an accomplished professional. Also, students should watch their step when receiving their revered coats. Their families, friends, and teachers are all watching closely.