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Wichita State News

Nursing student carries on grandfather's legacy

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  • Cody Forsberg received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2010 from Wichita State almost four decades after his grandfather.
  • Cody graduated this semester from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner.
  • He says one of his most memorable moments was receiving his grandfather’s nursing pin when he graduated with his BSN degree.

When Wichita State nursing student Cody Forsberg walked across the stage Sunday he continued the legacy started by his grandfather, Frank Hopkins, who graduated from WSU with two nursing degrees more than 40 years ago.

Forsberg received his BSN from WSU in 2010 and graduated this semester from the Doctor of Nursing Practice program with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner. Hopkins, an Air Force major in Vietnam, received his BSN from WSU in 1973 and Master of Science in Nursing in the mid-70s. Hopkins then went on to work for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After retiring from bedside nursing, he taught nursing classes in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Forsberg is from Rose Hill, Kansas, and has always had a passion for medicine and helping people. Because of his grandfather and grandmother, a labor and delivery nurse, the nursing profession has always been part of his life. Although his grandfather passed away when Forsberg was young, he has some memories and considers him part of his inspiration for pursuing nursing.

Forsberg says one of his most memorable moments was receiving his grandfather’s nursing pin from his grandmother when he graduated with his BSN degree.

“That was really a special moment,” he says. “I’m honored to be able to carry on my grandfather’s legacy and help others in need.”

In addition to his studies, Forsberg works in the Burn/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Via Christi St. Francis hospital. He loves working with kids and says burn survivors are incredibly strong people. He says it can be difficult to see chronic and acute illness in children, especially now that he has his own daughter.

“In regular ICU the patient only stays for a short amount of time and then they’re gone,” he says. “At the burn unit patients are there from the beginning until they go to rehab. During that time you build relationships with the patients and families.”

Forsberg was the president of his undergraduate nursing class, an experience he enjoyed very much. He says WSU is a good fit for him because it feels like a small town school even though it’s a larger university. He enjoys the people and opportunities the university provides to make something out of yourself.

“The faculty truly care about students,” he says. “They encourage you to push and motivate yourself to do better while keeping yourself accountable.”

He says his biggest challenge as a nursing student was going through graduate school while working full time and becoming a parent in the middle of the program. Juggling everything while being a full time graduate student was difficult, but the hard work was worth it.

Forsberg says one skill every nurse should have is the ability to hold personal conversations with patients.

“A good nurse can really get the information they need just by talking to the patient,” he says. “Being personable and friendly is the best way to make people feel comfortable and open up.”

His advice to future nursing students is to just keep going.

“Nursing school can be very tough and time consuming, but keep thinking about the lives and people you’re going to come into contact with,” he says. “Everything you’re doing is for a reason, which is preparing to take care of somebody and heal a person.”

In his spare time, Cody loves to spend quality family time with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. They love to be outdoors and enjoy activities such as fishing and playing football.

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Created on Wednesday, December 20, 2017; Last modified on Wednesday, December 20, 2017
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