Purdue University North Central student Elizabeth Hanke earned her degree in Nursing this month, fulfilling a dream that began when she was about eight years old.
“I knew I wanted to either be a nurse or a doctor,” she explained. “I knew it was my calling and what God planned for me, to take care of His people. I chose nursing was because there are many opportunities within the field of nursing. I want to impact the lives of others. I know there will be times that I will not be able to save a life, I cannot wait to feel that happiness when I am able to intervene to save and prolong someone’s life.”
She chose to earn her Purdue degree at Purdue North Central because she liked the idea of being in smaller classes that would allow her to build close relationships with her professors. In addition, she appreciated the opportunity to earn a Purdue degree just 20 minutes from her home.
Hanke’s grades earned her mention on the scholastic honor’s list each semester. She also earned the 2008 Duneland Health Scholarship and the Nursing 2000 North 2010 Scholarship.
With her strong desire to be a nurse, Hanke was eager to get into her profession as soon as possible and is employed at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center as a nurse technician. She hopes to continue working there as a nurse – she’s interested in intensive care, the emergency department, operating room, pediatrics and obstetrics. She plans to eventually earn her doctorate in Nursing.
Getting to this point in her life hasn’t always been easy, she admits. “I am a mother of two beautiful girls, Jillian, 5 and Jenna, 1. When I wasn’t in school or studying, I was spending as much time with them as I could.
“Having children, going to school full time and working part time was an obstacle in itself. It would break my heart when my girls would want me to spend time with them and I would have to go to school, study or work. I explained to them and knew in my heart that I was going to school to better their lives. I was extremely organized and motivated to reach my goal. I was able to make the distinction between the priorities of the immediate future and the long-term future. School is temporary; the outcomes and success are forever. I hope that by my example my children will know the importance of education.
“I want to do the best that I can and I want to be the best nurse that I can be.”
One of her most memorable experiences at PNC was working with the Sim-Man and Sim-Baby human simulators. She also was had the benefit of seeing the cadavers in the Anatomy and Physiology lab.
“My professors were wonderful, Kent Lange, continuing lecturer of Biology, went above and beyond to help me learn. He taught with much enthusiasm. Dr. Marne Juestel, assistant professor of Nursing, was encouraging and helped me through some tough times. Whei Ming Su, associate professor of Nursing, challenged me to critically think. She thoroughly made me understand concepts and painted the bigger, overall picture for me during my last semester.”
Now that she has earned her degree, Hanke wastes no time in encouraging others to purse an education.
“A college education is a necessity. Furthering your education is a way to stabilize your future. There are many things to consider before starting college and everyone’s life situation is different, but with self-discipline and determination it is possible to succeed.”
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