NDSU celebrates Student Nurses of the Year in Fargo and in Bismarck

During National Nurses Week from May 6 to 12, NDSU is celebrating Meghan Friese and Emily Omvig. They were selected as Student Nurses of the Year by the NDSU School of Nursing.

Friese was named Student Nurse of the Year at NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck.

Photo of Meghan Friese

“Meghan dedicates herself to serving and representing the nursing profession. She is professional and respectful with her interactions with peers, faculty, and professional nursing staff,” said Charys Kunkel, director of the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health.

Friese recalls how an interaction with a nurse started her on the path to her career. Her 3-year-old sister was hospitalized on the same day her father was deployed to Iraq.

“I stood with my tiny combat boots, gripping the stick of a small American flag, confused why she was still adorned in a hospital gown—and his deployment was merely an hour away!” said Friese.

“The kind words of a saint would help us through one of the hardest days we have ever experienced as a family. That saint happened to be a nurse, and she has led me to this amazing profession,” said Friese. “She took me, my worries…and held onto them all simultaneously. I can’t wait to be the person to provide this presence for someone else who needs it,” she said.

Friese is a National Honor Society member, National Society of Collegiate Scholars member, and recipient of the Amber DesRoches Memorial Nursing Scholarship and the Bismarck Hospital/Med Center One/Sanford Nursing Alumni Scholarship. She plans to graduate in December 2021.

photo of Emily Omvig

Emily Omvig was named Student Nurse of the Year at NDSU School of Nursing in Fargo. Her drive to go into nursing started early.

“With a nurse for a mother and a pharmacist as a father, the hospital was never too far from my mind,” said Omvig. “Growing up, my older sister and I never found much of an interest in Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, but we could spend hours watching the Discovery Health channel,” she said.

 “Five years of certified nursing assistant experience in both long-term and acute patient care settings shaped my heart into that of a nurse,” said Omvig, who also was involved in athletics where she learned teamwork and leadership skills.

In addition, Omvig served as a peer mentor in the nursing skills lab, led study sessions, assisted with COVID-19 screening, and served in leadership of the Nursing Christian Fellowship organization.

“Some of the time I spent working as a CNA was on the same unit that my mother works on. I was able to see first-hand just how rewarding a nursing career can be, watching my mom become uplifted in the process of uplifting others,” said Omvig. She plans to graduate in December 2021.

Friese and Omvig are both from Bismarck, North Dakota.

The NDSU School of Nursing in the College of Health Professions provides bachelor’s and graduate nursing education. Programs are available for part- and full-time students, working professionals and those seeking online educational opportunities. 

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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