Students receive acceptances into Dallas nursing school, spurred on by pandemic medical demand

Nursing students who have completed two years of instruction at Baylor’s Waco campus will now prepare for the transition to a hospital environment where they will complete their education and training. Photo Courtesy of Morty Ortega

By Mary Watson Vergnolle | Reporter

Nursing students recently received their admission for the fall of 2021 at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, located in Dallas.

Rising upperclassmen who have completed two years of instruction at Baylor’s Waco campus now prepare to transition to a hospital environment, where they will continue to build knowledge and community as they become more equipped to serve others upon graduation.

Downers Grove, Ill., sophomore Lauren Monaco said her passion to become a nurse stemmed from her faith and desire to serve.

“I wanted to become a nurse because I wanted to help people, and I want to do ER so I have the chance to evangelize,” Monaco said. “I want people to know Jesus, and that is my spiritual purpose.”

The connection that Monaco feels between her future profession and a desire for Christian community is an emphasis of Baylor’s nursing school. Students are taught to use their profession for the betterment of others, and the learning environment in Dallas is a place to help students gain those resources and put them to use.

Rocklin, Calif., sophomore Maddy Mehren, who also recently received her acceptance letter, said she believes that the transition to Dallas is beneficial in preparing students to be successful after graduation.

“Being around so many hospitals in Dallas will prepare us and we will have so many opportunities to work in different clinical settings,” Mehren said. “The move to Dallas I think is so important. I feel really excited to start taking classes that will contribute to what I want to do for life.”

The environment in Dallas is surely a change from life in Waco for students who choose the this graduation track.

Castle Rock, Colo., sophomore Rachel Peete said she is excited about her recent acceptance into the program and eager for the opportunities that a new city will offer.

“Living in the city will be more convenient. I think we will have more access to things that we wouldn’t in Waco, like grocery stores and we will be closer to an airport,” Peete said. “We get a trial-and-error period before we are completely on our own. We are still students first and will be more equipped after graduation.”

Monaco, Mehren and Peete all said they have felt even more called to the nursing profession amid the pandemic.

“COVID has made me realize more of the need for nurses and I think it has made people appreciate the profession more. Being able to be a part of that is so unique,” Mehren said.

Peete said, despite the intense year those in the medical field have experienced, she is still confident in pursing a career in nursing.

“Everyone that is going in the fall still wants to be a nurse even after seeing frontline workers experience the pandemic,” Peete said. “I think it’s your calling to love others and I think the best way to love others is on their worst day. I think that as nurses we deal with a lot of people’s worst days, and I want to know how to lift others up when they are at their lowest.”