Ripon education supports advancement toward nursing degree

Ripon College’s comprehensive educational offerings and off-campus experiences have prepared McKenna Meza ’19 well for an accelerated nursing program after graduation from Ripon.

Meza, of Waupaca, Wisconsin, recently reserved a spot for the 15-Month Option Accelerated Nursing Program at Bellin College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She will earn her bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) in just seven semesters. Each semester lasts eight weeks, and in that time she will complete the 64 required nursing credits for the program.

At Ripon, Meza is majoring in biology. She has taken courses relevant to nursing, including microbiology and biology of cancer. She also credits electives, such as macroeconomics and Issues in Communication: First Amendment, “which helped me to view the world from a different perspective,” she says.

“My mother has been a registered nurse for more than 20 years, so I was familiar with the medical field early in my childhood,” Meza says. During her sophomore year, Meza questioned her career path. After some deliberation, she focused on the empathy and attention to detail required of nurses and how those traits aligned with her own character best. “From there, it was my personal mission to become a nurse after I graduated from Ripon College,” she says.

Early on, Meza received advice urging her to allocate time to experiences that would be beneficial in the medical field. At the end of her freshman year at Ripon, she began working as a medical scribe in the emergency department of St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac.

As a medical scribe, she creates charts for medical personnel as they see patients. During a patient’s stay, Meza also updates their medical histories, laboratory and radiology results and EKG findings in the chart.

“This experience has been invaluable, and working in an emergency department has exposed me to numerous medical specialties,” she says.

Meza believes volunteer experiences based on interactions with others have also been crucial for her career path. “As a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, I have dedicated time to volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, with my sisters,” she says. “Volunteering as a member of the Ripon College Love Your Melon campus crew and at the Ripon Medical Center also have prepared me for a career in nursing.”

She says that when she first came to Ripon, “I felt supported and as if I could accomplish anything I desired.” Now, as she prepares for life beyond Ripon, she feels confident that she can achieve her goals with the support of her professors, family and friends. One of those goals may be returning to a hospital emergency department as a registered nurse.

Dakota Marlega ’21
Waupaca, Wisconsin

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