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McKindi Heiman

McKindi Heiman

The day I toured Herzing University’s Madison campus, I was supposed to sign a lease in another town to attend a different university for elementary education. At the time, I was working as a CNA and med passer for a small memory care facility. I loved what I was doing, but wanted something I could do for life, so I ultimately decided nursing was for me.

The Herzing campus was small, which meant smaller class sizes, and this was perfect for my learning style. I also liked that the education was year-round, which gave me the chance to complete my degree in three years. All of these factors combined to convince me to attend Herzing instead, and I’m glad I did.

I chose to become a registered nurse because I have always wanted the chance to provide compassion and caring to those in need. Being able to put a smile on someone's face, a laugh on their tongue, or even just make their day a little brighter during a time of sickness makes me so happy!

Herzing’s year-round schooling kept me motivated and in touch with my academic side. The school has class schedules set up for you, so you don't have to fight to get into the class you want each semester. This made it really easy to get into the classes I needed, including my clinical.

When it came time for clinical, I found every single learning opportunity presented was valuable to me. I learned to do IVs, catheters, injections and much more, but it was the patient-nurse interactions that prepared me most for my career. During these interactions, I learned how to perfect my therapeutic communication skills and my active listening skills, which will definitely be necessary to have as an RN.

Beyond clinical, I found that the NCLEX prep course did an excellent job at preparing me to pass the NCLEX leading up to graduation. That was a huge help, as passing is a key part of becoming a nurse.

Unfortunately, my academic journey wasn’t always so easy. In June 2019, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was the hardest time for me to continue in my education, especially since I was learning about cancer in my classes at the time! My mom went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and I am so proud of her for being so resilient. If it wasn't for her constant push and belief in me, I would not have made it to graduation today. I hope to be as great of an RN as the one caring for my mom throughout her entire cancer treatments was. This is for you, mom!

So many people helped me at Herzing. Debbie Gannon in the financial aid office was always willing to meet with me to go over my loans and any other questions I had. She would email scholarships and job opportunities as well which was always nice! I enjoyed my clinical instructor Jennifer Lange because she enhanced my confidence and helped me excel as a nursing student!

The fact that I am here today is incredible! Seriously, nursing school is HARD! I always knew I could do it and I just have to say this to those thinking about starting nursing school: DO IT! The tears, the late nights and exams are all worth it. There is no greater feeling than accomplishing a new skill, making another patient smile, or crushing that test! Keep going, you will make it!

I have accepted a few positions already, and they are all quite different due to me having a multitude of interests! I have accepted a position in a hospital on an ortho/neuro unit, a home health position and another position in a clinic doing a residency. I know wherever I end up I will love it and can’t wait to see what the future brings!

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