For years prior to entering college, Atlanta native Nikita Burgess dreamed of becoming a registered nurse. She selected The University of Tulsa because she wanted a school that not only offered her a quality education in nursing but one that would recognize her potential and help her through the challenges of earning the degree.
“I wanted to attend a school that would recognize my potential.”
“I credit the faculty for seeing me through a time when I was questioning myself,” Burgess said. “In my junior year, the faculty helped to push me to be the best student I could be. They motivated me to give more than I’ve ever given before, and I gave 110 percent.” During this time, Burgess discovered that persistence was critical to her success, and she began to see herself as a leader and motivator in the field of nursing. “I believe that college students facing a hard time need to know that the secret is to keep trying and be determined to succeed” Burgess said.
Oxley College of Health Sciences Dean Robin Ploeger said, “It has been fun to watch Nikita grow as a person and a nurse during her time at Tulsa. She has persevered through adversity in working to obtain her goal of becoming a BSN prepared nurse. She has a bright future ahead of her.”
“My calling is to be the person that helps and comforts the patient.”
Upon graduation, Burgess plans on moving home to Atlanta to become a nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Grady Burn Center where she previously participated in the nurse shadowing program. “I learned that being a burn ICU nurse was my calling when I helped my first patient,” she said. “What I find most rewarding about the work is being there with the patient one-on-one, caring for his or her needs, changing dressings and assuring the patient and the family that everything will be ok.”
During her time at TU, Burgess participated in nine clinical rotations in addition to training in TU’s Lawson Family Nursing Simulation Center and Skills Lab. Hands-on learning is essential in nursing to acquire skills and practice the art of caring for patients. Several of her experiences included working for Oasis Adult Day Care Center, Hillcrest Hospital Labor and Delivery, Tulsa Health Department and The Little Lighthouse.
Learn more about clinical nursing experiences at TU.
Burgess also worked for the TU School of Nursing in a work-study program providing administrative assistance to staff members. “While I can’t wait to begin working at a hospital, I will remember that TU helped to give me excellent training and the motivation to make me the nurse I am today,” she said.