From being a mom of five to becoming a labor and delivery nurse. How does Megan Schmidt do it all?
Schmidt is one of more than 1,100 students eligible for fall 2021 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.
What degree did you earn?
I am receiving a Bachelor of Science in nursing.
What is your hometown?
I grew up in Andover, Kansas and I now live in Mulvane, Kansas.
What led you to Wichita State?
I was seeking a local university with a baccalaureate level nursing program, and I chose Wichita State because I had heard many great things about the WSU School of Nursing from previous students. I also have family that are alumni of Wichita State, so I was happy to carry on the Shocker tradition.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
There are so many emotions leading up to graduation that it is hard to put them into words. This has been the most challenging, yet most rewarding, experience of my life. I am excited to step away from the role of student so that I can finally begin the nursing career that I have worked very hard to achieve. I am also incredibly emotional at the thought of walking across that stage and celebrating this achievement with my family and my children. They have been on this journey with me, and I am proud to be an example of hard work and perseverance for my children.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
The School of Nursing does a phenomenal job of providing its students with rich clinical experiences. Our clinical courses allow us to be hands-on in the hospitals and I believe that is where I have grown the most as a student nurse.
What has been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
Going back to school as a non-traditional college student has had its share of challenges. I am a wife and a mom of five kids, and it has been a challenge to balance those roles alongside being a full-time nursing student. Creating a (somewhat) healthy work, school and life balance has been a process of learning to be intentional with my time and setting realistic expectations. However, I think when you are stretched thin by so many responsibilities, you ultimately just have to have grace for yourself.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am beyond thrilled to have accepted my dream job as a Labor and Delivery nurse with Wesley Birth Care Center.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
COVID-19 certainly added another layer of complexity to my time as a student. It was during my first semester in the nursing program that we were sent home to finish out the semester fully remote, so my graduating class is the first class of nursing students that has experienced the impact of the pandemic for our entire four semesters in the nursing program. There was a time where my kids and I were all home doing remote learning together and that was incredibly challenging. The nursing program relies heavily on in-person learning experiences for our growth, and COVID-19 did create some limitations to that. Our faculty has worked incredibly hard to keep us in the hospitals and to continue providing us with hands-on learning opportunities. Although I don’t feel that my specific post-graduation plans have changed much, the pandemic has certainly impacted a great deal of change for the career of nursing.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
I think the resounding message of my story is that it is never too late to accomplish your goals, and, with enough determination, there is not a single circumstance that can hold you back. Believe in yourself, because willingness to accept anything less than your very best too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.