Hearting receives AAUWS Success Award

Pre-nursing student Andrea Hearting received the 2019 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Success Award.  AAUW.net states that it is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institution partners. For 129 years, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day– educational, social, economic, and political.


The purpose of the Rapid City AAUW Success Award is to provide stipends up to $500 for local women and girls as they strive to improve their lives through education. The financial support from the stipend could be used to defray a wide array of education costs such as tuition, gas, books, babysitting fees, etc. The help requested should adhere to the AAUW mission to advance equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.

Andrea is a mother, fiance, an enrolled member for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and works as Patient Care Champion-ONS at Rapid City Regional. She has been accepted into SDSU’s nursing program and will start her coursework in the fall of 2019 at the Rapid City site.


#MeetSDStateNursing – Morgan

downloadMeet Morgan! Morgan is a semester 2 student at the Brookings main campus. She is originally from Avon, MN.  In addition to her nursing major, she is working on a Military Science minor. Morgan is involved with Army ROTC.

To future students, Morgan said, “Don’t be afraid to talk to your nursing instructors! They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and they have so much wisdom that they want to pass down to you. The genuinely want you to succeed.”

Morgan’s future goals are to graduate from SDSU and to commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army. From there, she wants to serve as a nurse in the US Army Nursing Corps. Eventually she hopes to continue her education and become a nurse practitioner.

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Morgan said, “The reason why I want to be a nurse is to really be able to have an impact on the people and community around me. Since I was young, I’ve wanted to make some kind of impact on the world, and I think nursing can do that.”

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi

#MeetSDStateNursing – Hannah

Hannah Kilker

This week we’re featuring Hannah Kilker for #MeetSDStateNursing! Her hometown is Britton, SD. She is a third semester student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on the Brookings main campus. Her minor is Health Science.

When Hannah was a little girl, she decided that she wanted to “poke people in the belly button with a shot.” Hannah said, “I seemed to stick with this passion and never strayed from it, although I do know now that shots are not given in the umbilicus! I truly fall more in love with this profession each day, and I am so grateful to have found my passion.”

Hannah hopes to become a flight nurse someday. She plans to work as an intensive care/critical care or emergency room nurse when she graduates. Hannah said, “Coming from a small town, I also have a strong passion for rural healthcare, so I do see myself eventually working in rural South Dakota, raising a farming family.”

On campus, Hannah is involved in  Nurses’ Christian Fellowship, Student Nurses Association, Honors College Peer Mentor and Oasis Student Ministry Leadership.

Hannah advises future students to get connected with a group of fellow nursing students to create study groups. She says, “Don’t forget to have enjoyable study breaks too! Even though it may seem like your pre-nursing courses are tough, and you can never catch a break, just remember to keep the end goal in sight and why you chose this major. Take a step back to realize how much you are learning and how each class and instructor is helping to form you into an amazing nurse.”

Go Jacks Nursing!

#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.”