Brandy Price, an undergraduate student at Eastern New Mexico University, is pursuing her nursing degree online. Her expected graduation date is spring of 2019.

Why did you choose to attend ENMU?

I chose ENMU's Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for the flexibility it offered, as well as the course schedule. The cost of attendance aligned with my needs and the reviews of the program were influential. Overall, I am impressed with the education I am receiving, despite having initial hesitations about taking 100 percent of my classes online, and am happy to have chosen this program to further my nursing career.

Why did you choose to study nursing?

Since adolescence, I have had a passion for helping people reach their health and wellness goals. Nursing appealed to me as it offers a variety of settings where I can care for others and encourage my patients and fellow community members to take control of their health and healthcare in an ever-changing environment.

What do you hope to pursue as a career?

I have a true passion for preventative medicine and holistic wellness. I have an entrepreneurial mindset and could someday see myself developing a community wellness center that offers preventative and integrative treatments, including alternative and Eastern modalities. I am also a bit of a nomad, so I could see myself doing wilderness expedition medicine and/or international medicine. If I could combine my nursing skills and theories with outdoor activities, I would be in my element.  

What do you hope to ultimately achieve in your career?

On a daily basis, my hope is that I can inspire those I work with, both patients and coworkers, to take an active role in their holistic wellness. Beyond this, I have considered extending my education to become a nurse practitioner, as I believe this would be ideal for a wellness center provider role.

Have you been to the ENMU campus?

As a long-distance learner, I have never set foot on the ENMU campus. My father lives in Santa Fe and my grandmother lives in Raton, so I have an idea to visit the campus someday when I am vacationing in New Mexico. Otherwise, I may not make it around until graduation.

What advice would you give to students who are interested in your field of study?

I would initially suggest that the individual list the reasons why they are interested in becoming a nurse and categorize those reasons into two sections: 1) for the greater good and 2) for self-interest. If most of the reasons fall into the "self-interest" category, I would recommend that they do some serious soul searching before committing to an education and career in nursing. It is hard work: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Second, if they decided nursing was for them, they should seek opportunities for shadowing nurses in several settings: hospital, home health, long-term care, hospice, etc. Although the "normal" path can be to go straight into hospital nursing, it would benefit the person if they had even the slightest idea of where their passion for nursing is found. Third, find a mentor. Everyone needs someone who is willing to help them grow and encourage them to get back up when they fall.

Favorite part about being a Greyhound:

I love being a member of a school that values Native American heritage. My inbox often holds emails from the Native American Affairs department and I enjoy reading about what is going on in the community. It does make me feel closer to the school and the other students.

Which professors have helped mentor you in your time at ENMU?

Dr. Susan Bassett and Ms. Judith Piepkorn have been particularly helpful in my education at ENMU thus far. Both have been kind and seem to go above and beyond to educate and provide open communication. It is clear that they both have a genuine interest in the success of their students.

What is your job?

I currently work as a float pool nurse, and on any given day I could be in up to three different units, caring for multiple patients. So far, the day that provided the most significant change in pace was starting the day off in our chaotic Emergency Department then going to the Mother/Baby unit. Talk about a shift in perspective! To go from running codes to putting diapers on healthy newborns was quite a different utilization of my nursing skills and a privilege for me.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in northeastern Oklahoma. My father is a rancher and my mother is a retired cosmetologist who now works harder in her yard and flower beds than anyone I've ever seen. Both have more work ethic than you can shake a stick at.

What activities are you involved with?

Since moving to northern Idaho in January of this year, I have taken a nonprofit development class through the University of Idaho in order to gain basic knowledge of nonprofit organizations. I have an interest in creating a nonprofit that encourages women of various backgrounds to find healing in wilderness spaces. This process is slow, due to full-time work and school scheduling (as well as my own desire to be in the outdoors), but it is something I am hoping to gain momentum on in the coming year.