Nephew’s early birth inspires nursing student


Tanat Maichan

Rachael Taylor is a sophomore student in the school of heath professions. She is majoring in nursing and minoring in Spanish.

  • Rachel Taylor’s undeniable passion for people — from their first breath to their last — has driven the sophomore pre-nursing major to spend the year taking steady steps towards her goal of becoming a newborn intensive care unit nurse.

Though Taylor said her interest in nursing doesn’t stem directly from family influences, an unfortunate circumstance surrounding the birth of her nephew sparked her first real thoughts about pursuing a career.

“My nephew was born at 27 weeks and he was only two pounds,” Taylor said. “He stayed in the NICU for about five months, so I was up there almost every other day with my family, and I got really close with the nurses there who were taking care of him.”

“That’s what pulled me into the nursing field as a whole was how close I got with the staff — seeing how genuine they were and how it was a passion thing.”

Prior to her nephew’s birth, Taylor said she knew nothing about what she wanted to do professionally.

“He was born when I was 12, so before that, I had no idea,” Taylor said. “I had dreams of becoming a wedding planner when I was little, but when he was born, I knew that this was what I actually wanted to go into. From then on, it’s never swayed.”

Taylor started the application process for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in February.

“The way the program works is classes are ranked by importance,” Taylor said. “They’ll look at science courses more than your other courses because there’s an overall GPA we have to meet, but we also have to meet a GPA requirement in just our science classes.”

GPA requirements for acceptance into the program are a minimum of 2.75 overall GPA and 3.0 in science courses is required for students to be eligible to apply and be admitted to the Nursing Program.

“They do it well here because it’s only a two-year program and it’s getting your RN, which is your license and your BSN, which is your degree,” Taylor said. “As far as other places, you can get your RN, but not your BSN. WSU combines that, which helps because they make it easier for people to get both.”

After considering several schools, Taylor said she chose WSU for a multitude of reasons.

“I could do the same program somewhere else — I just know it wouldn’t be what’s best for me,” Taylor said. “Other programs are easier to get into, but part of what made me want to come here is I wanted to challenge myself. With this one, I think it’s a 40 percent acceptance rate, so I know that’s going to push me.”

After taking a class and passing an exam to get licensed, Taylor began working as a certified nurse aid at Regent Park — a local nursing home.

“A prerequisite for the BSN program here is you have to have healthcare-related work experience,” Taylor said. “It’s something they want you to have just to know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Working from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. most days, Taylor spends hours caring for and bonding with the residents of Regent Park.

“It’s busy all the time and we’re always doing something, but I love that about nursing,” Taylor said. “I want to be a NICU nurse, and that’s on the complete opposite end of the spectrum by age, but I like what I do.”

“I work with people from when they come into our care until the end of their life. Getting close to them is the best part because you’re taking care of them and they’re trusting you to protect them. That’s what I’ll do as a NICU nurse as well.”

Looking ahead, Taylor said she is most excited about the social impact of her work.

“I’m going to meet so many different people and families,” Taylor said. “I think that’s the best aspect of nursing — having a passion to want to care for people.”