UA Little Rock celebrates National Nurses Week: Hannah Havens

Nursing student Hannah Havens (right) stands with her mentor and previous nursing instructor, Janet Fletcher (left), after winning the UA Little Rock Nursing School Bracket Challenge. This competition takes place the first two semesters of nursing school and consists of check offs and quizzes that students were required to pass with a 100 percent on their first attempt.

In celebration of National Nurses Week, UA Little Rock is recognizing outstanding nursing students and upcoming graduates.

After pursuing her childhood dream of being a nurse, Hannah Havens will graduate this month with an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree.

Tell us about yourself. 

I was born in New Hampshire and lived in Maine until I was six, when we moved to Little Rock. I started nursing school right out of high school at UCA in 2001. I lost my grandmother in my second semester of actual nursing school and was not coping with her loss, so I decided I would take a little time off. I applied in 2019 to UA Little Rock and was excited to finally start and finish nursing school.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a nurse. I used to play nurse with my dolls, giving IVs with my mom’s sewing pins and filling ziplock bags with water to hang as an IV bag. 

What is your most memorable experience as a nursing student?

My most memorable experience was in clinicals for critical care. I followed my open heart patient to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. His skin started mottling, his whole body became stiff, and his temperature steadily rose along with his blood gases. He was experiencing malignant hyperthermia. I have been a surgical technologist for 13 years and have never seen it in person. We do drills for it but no one I know has ever seen it. I got to help mix the dantrolene and administer it and saw his symptoms improve. 

National Nurses Week honors the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Who are some of the nurses you admire or who have mentored you throughout your time in the nursing program?

My coworkers at Conway Regional Labor and Delivery would answer my questions and encouraged me in my nursing degree pursuit. Karlee Rudder, Sandi Ortega, and Gwen Rigsby to name a few. Our UA Little Rock obstetric faculty Mrs. Teague, Mrs. Baertlein, Ms. Williams. LouAnne Lefler and Larronda Rainey also encouraged me in never giving up my nursing dream. 

What advice would you give to others hoping to become nurses?

Get at least a part-time job as a patient care tech and ask questions and learn while you work. It will give you a great base because nursing school is hard. Read “Test Taking for Nursing School.” Nursing tests are like no other exams you have ever taken.

What are your plans after graduating from UA Little Rock?

I will work as an RN at Conway Regional Labor and Delivery. I will start my BSN online in the fall also. I am very excited to finally fulfill my career dreams!

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