Aurora Obembe and Sarah Bolton have been named the NDSU School of Nursing’s Student Nurses of the Year for the 2017-18 academic year.
Originally from Hazen, North Dakota, Sarah Bolton is a senior in nursing at the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota. In addition to her academic studies, Bolton works as a certified nursing assistant at a retirement health care facility in Bismarck.
“I love my job and enjoy learning about each resident. Working as a CNA makes me even more confident that I was meant to be a nurse,” said Bolton.
During the course of her career, Bolton also hopes to pursue an opportunity to practice nursing in a developing country. She participated in a mission trip to an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico over one of her breaks from school. She plans to be part of a self-funded medical mission trip to Belize with other nursing students from NDSU to gain multicultural nursing skills.
“I love that nurses have such rare opportunities to impact a person’s life forever. I hope that as a nurse I will always remember to value this and provide more than just the medical aspect of health care to each of my patients,” said Bolton.
Upon graduation, Bolton is interested in the nursing specialties of both obstetrics and geriatrics. “I feel these two areas of nursing are such a special time in an individual’s life. I also enjoy that these two specialties include working with not only the patient, but frequently their families,” said Bolton.
She also hopes to pursue graduate education in nursing later in her career.
Aurora Obembe, from Fargo, was named Student Nurse of the Year at NDSU School of Nursing in Fargo. She is a senior in nursing, who originally started college to pursue a major in geology.
“I loved the critical thinking and the way geologists piece together Earth’s history like a puzzle,” said Obembe. “Taking those hard science classes, being forced to expand your thinking and approach topics in new ways, and then being employed as a teaching assistant in the geology lab all helped me develop critical thinking skills that are, honestly, transferable to any career,” she said.
The pivot point to a different career came when Obembe realized that she didn’t have a passion for fieldwork in geology. “I went back to my tent and knew I needed to make a change,” she said.
“I chose to go into nursing because I believe it’s the perfect blend of art and science,” said Obembe. “We get to use medicine and the knowledge of science and combine that with our compassion and caring to really make a difference in patients’ lives and the community that we live.”
She has volunteered at an area cancer treatment center, during flu shot blitzes, at lactation support groups, the Special Olympics and with a rheumatologist who researches providing efficient patient care and how to best utilize nursing skills in outpatient settings.
In addition, Obembe serves as a mentor in School of Nursing programs, as a member of the Dean’s Liaison Committee and a member of the College of Health Professions Ambassadors. She works part-time as a direct care professional with people with disabilities and as a patient care technician in a hospital intensive care unit.
Obembe plans to pursue clinical nursing experience when she graduates and later hopes to attain a graduate degree in nursing education.
Student Nurse of the Year candidates are nominated by NDSU faculty. Fellow students vote for the top three candidates and professionals in the community make the final selection.
Additional finalists for NDSU Student Nurse of the Year include Danielle Dube and Tyler Jorgenson in Fargo, and Lachelle Baumgarner and Hailie Doll in Bismarck.
The NDSU School of Nursing in the College of Health Professions provides bachelor’s and graduate nursing education to advance knowledge of nursing, demonstrate leadership, and meet the needs of a diverse society. Campus and online classes are offered, with sites in Fargo and in Bismarck.
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