PN student '100% dedicated' to facing challenges of nursing

A photo of Madalyn Reed

Madalyn Reed always said she wanted to be a doctor growing up, but the nursing program at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville changed her career goals.

“I always wanted to be a doctor, but nursing and UACCB sort of fell in my lap, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said.

Reed graduated from Concord High School in 2015 and is the “baby of the class” in the current practical nursing class at UACCB. She’s counting down the days to the group’s graduation set for July 28, but she said graduation day will be bittersweet.

“Our class is like a little family. I’m ready to graduate, but it’s going to be bittersweet,” Reed said.

Reed’s class of PN students is referred to on campus as “the sweet 16.” Reed’s nursing class was the pilot group selected to participate in the Completion Recovery Program, a program designed to help students nearing degree completion achieve academic success by providing social mentorship, academic tutoring and personal guidance. The program was developed with funds provided by the College Completion Grant awarded to UACCB by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. In the fall, the program will expand to include registered nursing students and industrial technology students who are at 75% completion of their degrees and financially eligible. Louise Hughes, director of student development and grant director, said that although this is the target group for the grant, additional students in those programs may inadvertently receive benefits of the grant.

Reed said last fall she was struggling in her courses, but the support she has received through the grant program has helped her succeed.

“Our tutor Mrs. [Cathy] Shonk and our life coaches Doc Myers and Angela Davis go above and beyond. I don’t know how we would have made it through the program without them. Our instructors are our cheerleaders. They all want us to succeed. We have an amazing support system,” Reed said.

Reed said the life coaches came with the students to the Arkansas Licensed Practical Nurses’ Association Conference to support them as they competed in various categories. Reed placed second in the prepared speaking category.

“It was a good learning experience and interesting to see what students in other programs were doing,” she said.

Reed said after graduation she is determined to pass her state board exam on the first attempt and plans to work at White River Medical Center. She said she plans to enroll in the registered nursing program next spring.

“This is a hard field, but it is so worth it. You have to be 100% dedicated to it. There’s always something to learn, and there are always challenges. That’s nursing. I love the connection that you develop with your patients. I just want to heal the world. If I can put a smile on just one person’s face, then I’ve reached my goal,” she said.

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