Rural Health Scholar: Laura Daum

Rural Health Scholar: Laura Daum

Laura Daum attempted college right out of high school, but didn’t feel it was for her. “I actually took a little time away from school altogether after that, but around 19 or 20 years old, my mom said, ‘I think you’d make a great nurse,’” she says. Laura became a Certified Nurse Aide and then a Licensed Practical Nurse and started working in long-term care facilities. And indeed, she found that working with patients lit her up and suited her personality well. 

Shortly after becoming an LPN, Laura began working for a large children’s hospital in California, gaining experience working with burn patients. “That was one of my favorite jobs and it was then that I decided I wanted to continue working with children,” she says. After a few years, she went back to school and got the ADN and joined a large medical center in California, where she worked with patients dealing with brain injuries, sepsis, post-operative surgery and other traumas. Laura moved into the pediatric intensive care unit, where she stayed for 13 years thereafter. 

Ready for a BSN

In 2018, Laura moved out of California to a rural area for a change of pace. She was limited on opportunities that fit her ICU pediatric background and began working in hospice care before landing in an emergency department at a community hospital in 2019. It is her first ER job. 

In 2020, Laura decided to pursue the BSN—and was referred by a friend to American Sentinel University’s BSN Powered by SIMPath®. The ability to complete as many courses as she liked within a 16-week semester fit her needs perfectly. “I really enjoyed the ability to go at my own pace,” she says. “The price was right and the ability to earn credit for my knowledge instead of taking traditional classes worked well for my life.” 

An eye-opening experience

Laura has found that being in school has opened her eyes to how much healthcare has changed—and how much nurses must adapt. “It has made me realize that one day, I might like to be on the other side of healthcare, where I’m educating people about how to prevent disease and live a healthy lifestyle,” she says. Laura will finish the BSN in 2021. 

Rural Health Scholarship

Laura is a recipient of the Rural Health scholarship. “Receiving this was a highlight of this experience for me,” she admits. “Going back to school is something I never took lightly and I had some fear about it. The experience has been amazing. It lit me up inside to know that someone believed in me and heard my story enough to want to help fund my education. I’m proud and ecstatic, and even better, I feel successful in school. It feels good.” 

Next up: possibly an MSN or MSN Nurse Practitioner. “It’s an exciting time for me, and I’m looking forward to putting the BSN to work in some way,” she says. “I’m not sure what I’ll do, but the great thing about nursing is that there are many options to choose from. The big thing for me is that I want to have an impact on a patient’s life. And the wonderful thing is that I can do that in many areas of nursing.” 

American Sentinel has created the Rural Health scholarship program to help healthcare providers and patients overcome obstacles that are different than those in urban areas. Eight scholarships are awarded per year. Congratulations to this quarter’s recipients. Learn more and apply here

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