If you were to ask a healthcare worker why they got into their field of work, many would reply it is simply because they want to help others. That is the case for College of Western Idaho (CWI) Registered Nursing (RN) student, Sarah Tuffield, who says her time in the program has solidified this is exactly what she wants to do and where she wants to be in life.
“I have always loved helping people in my life,” Tuffield said. “Whether that be holding the door open for someone who has their hands full or listening to someone talk about a bad day. We’re helping people at times they didn't foresee coming or when they get news that was unexpected. Nurses are the people who sit there and say, ‘I'm here to listen. What's going on?’”
With more than 100,000 Registered Nurses in the U.S. leaving the industry between 2020 and 2021, according to American Association of Nursing, Tuffield hopes to help fill in the gaps for the current demand.
Tuffield is on her way to graduating from CWI with her Associate of Science in Nursing in Spring 2024, where she plans to transfer to another institution to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. From there, she hopes to begin work as a Registered Nurse in the hospital setting.
Having graduated from CWI’s Practical Nursing (PN) program and working in the healthcare field as a Licensed PN at the Idaho State Veterans Home, Tuffield is excited to begin her next endeavor because she knows firsthand how the College sets students up for success professionally.
“The program may be a challenge because it is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding when you reach your goal of starting that job or continuing in your nursing journey. One of my favorite memories in the RN program has been working in the simulation labs because we are able to treat a scenario as real as possible but also make mistakes that won’t hurt a patient. It allows us to build our confidence and skills as we move forward in the program.”
Tuffield also adds the encouragement from her instructors have helped contribute to the success she has seen in the classroom and labs. She believes they have a passion to teach students how to become caring and well-rounded individuals.
“The instructors are unique and diverse because of their nursing backgrounds — plus most of them are learning while we learn because nursing is ever-changing. Many nurses feel that if they aren't learning they aren't furthering their experience.”
While Tuffield feels her education has prepared her for the “real world” as a working professional, she also attributes the success she has seen so far to her drive for wanting more learning opportunities in the industry. She would often interact with professionals in a clinical setting and ask for more hands-on experiences.
“When I was in my clinical once, I saw the nurse I was paired with had a busy day and seemed stressed, so I asked if I could spend the day with the phlebotomist to practice blood draws. It was a great learning experience, and it gave me the confidence to interact with others.”
It is that self-confidence that helped get her to where she is today and make her dream of becoming a Registered Nurse a possibility.
“With a belief in yourself, you can do hard things and you can reach the goals and tasks that you have.”
Applications for CWI’s Registered Nursing program are open through Friday, May 19. For more information on the application process and requirements, please visit the Registered Nursing page, or contact Allison Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208.562.2307.