Matthew Tygart always knew he liked working with children. When his compassion for people influenced him to major in nursing, he learned through a series of clinical rotations and his externship at St. Francis Hospital that he wanted to work in pediatric oncology after graduation.
“I grew up working with children,” said Tygart. “Now I can take that one step further by caring for them in their most vulnerable states. I can be there for the families and the patients.”
Tygart is earning a bachelor of science in nursing at The University of Tulsa School of Nursing in the Oxley College of Health Sciences. One of the reason’s he chose TU was due to the high success rate of TU students passing the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Exam) exam, a standardized test that each state board of nursing uses to determine whether a candidate is prepared for entry-level nursing practice. The pass rate for TU School of Nursing students is higher than the average in Oklahoma and nationally.
Tygart and his classmates participated in clinical rotations at the three major hospitals and various clinics in Tulsa. “Our clinical rotation group was small and included only six or seven students,” said Tygart. “This allowed us to develop closer relationships with faculty.”
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During his rotation at St. Francis Hospital, Tygart realized that he wanted to work in oncology and with the help of his professors, he secured an externship there. “The faculty helped me complete my externship application and provided references,” said Tygart. “I was able to work in both adult and pediatric oncology.”
After his externship, Tygart received a job offer from St. Francis to work as a nurse technician providing basic medical care in the pediatric oncology unit while he completes his schooling. Nurse technician positions are generally part-time employment opportunities reserved for students currently enrolled in a licensed practical nursing or registered nursing program.
During his time at TU, Tygart served as a member of the Golden Hurricane Spirit Squad and participated in a fraternity. He also started the TU chapter of Love Your Melon raising money for children battling cancer. This organization functions on a buy one give one model where every piece of apparel sold provides a beanie to a child fighting cancer.
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