"Nursing is a field of never-ending learning, but Marian University will prepare you to conquer any curve ball that life may throw at you."
As a nursing major and pitcher for the Marian University softball team, Courtney Best balances a full load of demanding coursework and a busy athletic schedule with grace and determination. How? Supportive, flexible faculty and coaches who enable her to pursue both interests.
Growing up in rural Indiana, Courtney’s family cared for several relatives as they neared the end of their lives in addition to looking after her father while he recuperated from a serious accident.
Courtney began getting professional nursing experience while in high school, working as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities. Those experiences helped Courtney decide to choose nursing as a career.
It’s become her passion. “A nurse is someone who has the honor of witnessing a newborn enter the world and the honor of comforting an elderly patient taking their last breath,” Courtney believes. “That is so very powerful. I’m honored to be preparing for a profession that will give me the privilege to do these things.”
When deciding where to go to college, playing softball was also a priority. Courtney appreciated Marian’s close-knit campus, finding it reminded her of life in her hometown. She was awarded both academic and athletic scholarships. And as she begins the end of her senior year, she says the student experience at Marian helped her grow tremendously as a student, athlete, caretaker, friend, and woman.
Since the first day Courtney arrived at Marian, she says she’s been embraced with open arms. “My professors and coaches have shown me that hard work, dedication, faith, and compassion can take me anywhere in life that I want to go,” she reports.
Courtney has traveled to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Softball World Series three times to compete for the national championship. She notes some of her favorite memories are travelling across country and forming strong bonds with 20 teammates who she regards as sisters.
The future registered nurse (RN), says Marian’s small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, Kaplan partnership for NCLEX success, and Indianapolis location have prepared her for a great career. She’s worked in some of the state’s top hospitals and been mentored by accomplished registered nurses and other healthcare professionals.
This summer, Courtney was awarded a scholarship and internship to work as a circulating and scrub nurse at Riley Hospital for Children’s Hospital, the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana. The Indianapolis hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19 as one of the nation’s best facilities in eight pediatric specialty areas, including cancer, cardiology, and neurology.
The experience led Courtney to her current job as an operating room assistant at Riley, where she applies the skills she’s learning in the classroom and from clinical experiences, becoming more proficient and knowledgeable each day.
Eventually, Courtney wants to become a nurse practitioner and pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Her ultimate career goal is to work in trauma units, intensive care, and the emergency room in a hospital.
Until then, she is confident that Marian’s advanced nursing program has given her the knowledge and confidence to pursue future academic and career goals.
“I’ve had great access to skills lab, simulation labs, and clinical experiences at various Indianapolis hospitals. The one-on-one attention from my professors has carried over into my clinical practice and will benefit me long after graduation,” she says.
For any prospective nursing student considering Marian, Courtney encourages them to run with it. “Nursing is a field of never-ending learning, but Marian University will prepare you to conquer any curve ball that life may throw at you.”
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Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.
Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.
Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.
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