I cannot believe it has been almost 3 years since I graduated nursing school...man does time fly when you are having fun. On the nursing side of things, I am still currently on the blood cancer unit at Presbyterian St Luke's, but I also have accepted an additional job as a clinical instructor for nursing students! I'll be taking groups of nursing students throughout the year, helping guide them through their clinical rotations, and helping in any way I can!
I have also decided to return to Regis for my Master in Nursing Leadership (eventually focusing more on either education or management - I am very torn)! Very excited and quite nervous about taking both of these on, but I am confident it will all work out.
In other news, since my last update, my boyfriend Eric and I got a dog (Odin) and moved into our townhome! Eric will be switching from his current fire station to Brighton fire - so movement for both of us! We are so excited about this chapter in our lives and can't wait to see what more is to come.
Every time I think about my nursing career it reminds me of the Myricks. They have played an important part in my life all along and I couldn't be more grateful. The Myricks are a second family and so are all involved in the foundation.
Thank you all for your continued support of the TJ Myrick Scholarship Fund! Your support for us does not go unnoticed and is so appreciated!
For those of you who don’t know me already, I am Melissa. I am the first recipient of the TJ Myrick scholarship. I graduated from the Regis University Class of 2016. My passion to be a nurse started when I was in the 8 th grade. However, my parents said I always showed a desire to care for others. When I told them I wanted to be a nurse, they did everything they could to support me in my dream. I have also always had a passion for serving those who have served our country. My dad is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from PTSD and have long line of service on both sides of my family. My goal has always been to combine my passions.
Since receiving the TJ Myrick fund in my senior year of nursing school, I have been able to start a successful career in nursing with my most recent years specializing in Burn ICU and Care Coordination. A year after graduation, my now husband and I moved to Lubbock, Texas for his career and I continued to find opportunities to grow in nursing.
In 2018, I had the amazing opportunity to return to school for my Master’s degree in Nursing while continuing work and planning our wedding. My husband and I married in Oct of 2018 and I graduated in Dec of 2019 with dual MSN in Leadership and Education. My special passion of working with veteran has continued as I have volunteered to work with local vets and worked on a support program for local women veterans in my MSN program. While 2020 and 2021 brought many challenges for everyone, during moments of reflection I realized that my passion for serving veterans extended into my passion to serve. I decided to begin work with a local recruiter who helped me apply for a position as an ICU RN in the Army reserves. I received my CCRN (Critical Care Nurse) Certification in 2021 and in January of 2023, I was commissioned as a Captain in the Army. In the future, I hope to be a good nurse leader to my fellow servicemen and women, as well as find new ways to support veterans and get more involved with PTSD support programs.
In our free time, my husband and I continue to enjoy skiing, camping, and hiking along with our two new rescue pups Millie and Remi. I also love getting to travel, most recently on a trip to Ireland with my husband and to Vietnam with my parents.
None of this would have possible with the continued love and support of Pam and Steve Myrick. I am forever grateful to be the first TJ Myrick Memorial Scholarship recipient but more than that, I am eternally grateful for the friendship I was able to develop with Pam and Steve. They have truly been a pillar in me being able to achieving my goals and have never stopped cheering me on! I am so glad to have been able to keep in touch with them after over the years. I truly hope to continue to ‘pay it forward’ and make everyone proud!
Thank you all again for supporting the TJ Myrick Scholarship Fund!
My first year of nursing school has been a complete rollercoaster, but I am also incredibly thankful for every part of it. My proudest accomplishment so far is that I am still on track to get a 4.0 gpa. I have one more class left of the semester, but for me I am so happy because I am so stingy with myself about my grades.
I am not going to lie, the first half of the semester was very difficult and stressful but all of the knowledge I learned was so worth it…. This quarter has been much less stress producing and a lot more enjoyable. I completed my Mom and Baby clinical which was so far my favorite, and I just completed my MedSurg1 clinical. I was able to stand in on a femoral surgery and I saw a few C sections and vaginal births which to me was amazing and such great new learning opportunities.
My nurses have helped guide me and give me tips, they’ve all allowed me to practice my nursing skills with supervision and open arms. My professors are great also, each one of them I have really liked and that so helpful for my learning.
I am anxious to continue my nursing path but I am also really excited because I’m ready to see what else is out there in the nursing world, what more I can learn, and all the opportunities have that are still in front of me.
The past year I have been an ICU travel nurse! I was lucky enough to land a job in San Diego, CA for 8 months and had the best time there! Travel nursing has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and meet new people and try new things. I have learned how to surf, ate amazing food, enjoy concerts and went on my first cruise! I cannot explain enough how grateful I am for my career. I have been lucky enough to gain financial stability and independence. Traveling has reignited the love I have for nursing that I thought I lost during the pandemic. At the moment, I am in rural Nevada working at a Critical Access hospital in the Emergency Department, and I’m learning a lot! I cannot express enough how much this scholarship helped me and relieved so much pressure off of my family and I during school.
Molly Ann Ginther
Scholarship recipient Kara Rodeheaver recently participated in a Regis University Interfaith Medical Service Project in Central America. She details her experience in the following blog post on rubuildingcapacity.com. Click that link and read about her emotional experience!
A New Ritual Has Begun.
The “Wall” is a site located in the main conference room at Carolle Hall. On this “Wall” will hang the pictures of each nurse, once she or he has graduated. Although we no longer have the TJ Myrick Memorial Golf Tournament, where we would honor our juniors and seniors by putting their names on the appropriate trophy each year, we still wanted to recognize the nurses in a very special way. And of course bring the scholarship to the forefront.
So we started "The Wall”. Every year a nurse’s picture will be added to the “Wall” once they graduate. The conference room in Carolle Hall is a great place for the “Wall”. Carolle Hall is where the administrative offices for the Nursing Program reside. Many different events are held there and other programs on campus use this conference room as well. It gives the TJ Myrick Scholarship and our nurses all-around exposure. The “Wall” will be seen by many.
We hope you will stop in at Carolle Hall and take a look at this amazing “Wall” of nurses.
Hi everyone, hope you all are staying safe this year!
I made some cool career changes this year. I moved from the Multi-Trauma Unit to the Trauma ICU turned COVID ICU at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO September 2020. I made new friends and learned a lot more clinical and critical thinking skills. It is definitely hard work especially going into a new area, it was a shock at first but I was able to adapt and learn from my peers who have been in the “trenches” of COVID from the very beginning. I am learning a lot about myself this year and sticking up for myself and my wellbeing and even the wellbeing of my patients and their families. Selfcare has been a big role in my life these days. I felt a lot of grief in my time in the ICU and started to look in to travel nursing so I can take more time off and be closer to family on west coast with the bonus of making a little bit more money. It felt like I need a breath of fresh air. The beautiful thing about nursing is that you can change and find new areas when you are feeling a little burnt out. Travel nursing entails that I go through a nursing agency that will connect me with job opportunities across the U.S. that need increased staffing due to staff turnover or because they need more hands because of the influx of patients being admitted to the hospitals. Contracts can be anywhere from 4 weeks-13 weeks. I took my first contract in June 2021 in the ICU at a hospital in Spokane, Washington. I got to explore some beautiful national parks and even adventure over to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to hang out on one of the nicest lakes I have ever seen. I got to bike through an old railroad tunnel Bridge between Idaho and Montana called the Hiawatha Trail! I think the change of scenery has really helped with my mental health and just the feeling of taking a breath of fresh air and not feeling stuck. My next adventure will be to Las Vegas, Nevada in the ICU for a 2-month assignment and then I will get to be by my family there. I am excited for this new chapter in my nursing career! I have loved every minute of it! For future assignments I am looking at New York, Arizona, and California! I am still very thankful for the job I have and cannot wait to see what else it has in store.
Since graduating in May of this year, my life has done a 180 degree flip. In three short months, I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took (and passed!) the NCLEX, and began my career as a nurse on a neurosurgery floor at UPMC Passavant. Although this time was stressful, and I found myself missing home often, I finally felt like I was living the life I had always dreamed about.
However, none of this would have been possible without the TJ Memorial Fund, Pam, and Steve. And because of this, I am forever grateful to them for helping me!
Oh, how much has changed since I have written an update for you all! Not to sugarcoat it - the beginning of COVID kicked my butt a little with finding a job..but after passing the NCLEX and the most unpredictable interview, I am officially coming up on my one year on the Blood Cancer Unit at Presbyterian St Lukes. I am sure I can predict all the reactions - but I assure you, I love my job. If you remember all the way back to when I wrote my essay for this scholarship - I mentioned courage, how I wanted to pass on to my patients the courage to show the world that they are more than their diagnoses. In a turn of events, this unit has shown me what courage looks like. My patients have taught me what courage is and what love is. I have always known love and seen it, but I have never felt it the way I do in this unit. This unit shows me every day how fragile but beautiful life is. I am proud to be a blood cancer nurse and be a part of every patient's story, for they have shown me what courage, love, and gratitude should look like every day of our life. I think of my patients every day when I wake up and have begun living my life through love and grace.
Pam, Steve, and all the Myrick supporters have brought me to this unit. You all showed me love and compassion without a second thought. I carry your love with me every time I am with my patients. I hope to continue advancing in my career while keeping in touch with my second family - all the Myricks. ❤
Sending all my love and wishes to you all!
Regis was connecting with some of our scholarship recipients, and I figured I’d share some quotes of what students said about the impact your scholarship is making in their lives:
The most important thing I would say is that this scholarship has helped my financial journey through Regis immensely. I have always dreamt of being a nurse, and being able to go through the nursing program at Regis with this scholarship has made it so much easier to focus my time on becoming the best nurse I can, instead of focusing on how I’m going to achieve that financially. It is all thanks to the scholarship and Pam and Steve Myrick. I am so grateful for them and the opportunity they have given me. Thanks again! Let me know if you need anything else.
The scholarship given to me by Pam and Steve Myrick in memory of their son, has meant the world to me. Nursing is my calling and thanks to this blessing I can focus on my education of healing others in their toughest moments, without the additional financial stressors that come with attending such an amazing nursing school. Being a first generation college student this scholarship has lifted a tremendous burden not only from my shoulders but my families as well, I cannot express how grateful I am for Pam and Steve’s generosity.
- Kara Rodeheaver