In celebration of National Nurses Week May 6-12, UA Little Rock is recognizing outstanding nursing students. Melissa Gargus, upcoming graduate and mother of three, said she made it through nursing school by remembering some words of encouragement from her nursing instructor.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m from Cabot and have lived in Arkansas for 20 years. I have been married for 17 years. I have three beautiful children. I love being a mom and wanted my kids to be older before going back to school. I have been studying nursing for three years now.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I wanted to be a nurse from a young age. Taking care of other people has always been a passion of mine. I love helping people through the good and bad times in their lives.
What is your most memorable experience as a nursing student?
When I started this journey, Mrs. Joanna Rostad-Hall said on orientation day, “It’s hard, but you can do it.” I let that stick with me throughout the program. I lost my mom and brother three months apart last year. I just kept saying that comment to myself and kept going.
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 husband has been a nurse for 22 years, and he has supported me all the way!
What advice would you give to others hoping to become nurses?
Stay strong. Your instructors are your best friends. Push through because it’s just a season of your life.
What are your plans after graduating from UA Little Rock?
I will be an ICU nurse at St. Vincent in Little Rock. I also plan to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree this upcoming fall.