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“Being able to see other schools and being at another school, I understood just how important the smaller class size was going to be for me. Minot State’s simulation lab is great training and has been a great experience for me to learn from, much better than with just mannequin models. We get a great one-on-one experience with the faculty, I’ve seen how invested they are. Even just walking by them in the hallway, they are such a great group to work with.”
Kelley (Wu) Vigstol, senior, nursing

University Communications

‘Magnetic forces’ lead Vigstol to Minot State

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director
michael.linnell@minotstateu.edu

MINOT, N.D. – It seems fitting that Minot State University senior nursing student Kelley (Wu) Vigstol would begin her professional career at Trinity Health in Minot.

After all, she spent a considerable amount of time during her education at Minot State working with and at Trinity Health.

“I’ve grown up with Trinity,” she said.

But her path to her senior year at Minot State and eventual job at Trinity Health almost didn’t happen. Graduating from Minot High School, her first thought was she needed to get out of Minot to succeed.

“I initially went to UND (University of North Dakota) and was a pre-med major,” she said. “I had those feelings. I needed to get out. But during my freshman year, I was taking the science courses, I realized nursing was the route to go. After comparing other programs, the size of Minot State and the faculty drew me back.

“The magnetic force of Minot got me back.”

Once back to her hometown, she thrived, being named the 2018 Minot State Student Nurse of the Year last December.

 “The Student Nurse of the Year (SNOY) is awarded annually to a nursing student who is involved in the Nursing Student Organization (NSA) at MSU and who has high academic standing,” said Minot State Division of Nursing Chair Niki Roed. “The nomination selection process goes through faculty, NSA members, presentations, and an interview process by three registered nurses in the community. As a SNOY, the student represents MSU in the community and at the state level in NSA.

“I didn’t know Kelley until she came to MSU but she certainly made an impression. She was kind, considerate, motivated, and respected by her peers and faculty. She has a quiet yet confident drive that is an excellent trait for nurses entering the complex environment of the healthcare system. It is always fun and rewarding to see our students grow and develop not only in their academics but also in their personal maturity, confidence, and potential.”

While the award wasn’t necessarily on Vigstol’s academic radar, she was proud of the work she did and how she fit into the team concept of the nursing department.

“It was certainly unexpected,” she said. “I don’t think it was my overall goal to win an award like that, I just tried to work hard and tried to be a good teammate. It is nice to be recognized for hard work.”

Hard work has been the name of the game during Vigstol’s academic career as she feels Minot State’s curriculum is a cut above its peers.

“Being able to see other schools and being at another school, I understood just how important the smaller class size was going to be for me,” she said. “MSU’s simulation lab is great training and has been a great experience for me to learn from, much better than with just mannequin models. We get a great one-on-one experience with the faculty, I’ve seen how invested they are. Even just walking by them in the hallway, they are such a great group to work with.”

That hard work paid off with a job offer from Trinity beginning in January.

“I am always very excited to see our graduates stay in the local community,” Roed said. “We need nurses in our area and our graduates have a baccalaureate degree as a professional registered nurse, a level of nursing education that improves patient outcomes. Nurses practicing in our local community will receive a wide variety of experience in evidence based practice. Many graduates want to go to the ‘big city’ to practice but graduates do receive excellent experience working at Trinity Health. This experience prepares them for career and educational opportunities that are endless.”

While becoming a nurse was a decision Vigstol came to as a freshman, her career path wasn’t quite as clear. After spending many hours in various departments at Trinity, she will enter the workforce in the ever-demanding area of intensive care.

“I had a summer co-op with Trinity and being able to see each different unit, establish connections and relationships has been great,” Vigstol said. “I accepted a position in the ICU (during the fall semester) and it was a huge relief. Earlier this year, I had no idea what I was going to go into and that was terrifying, but I ended up in the field I wanted to be in.”

“Kelley has both the personality and knowledge to serve in the nursing profession,” Roed added. “Our nursing profession is very lucky to have her entering the workforce. Kelley can care for me or my family any day!”

ABOUT MINOT STATE UNIVERSITY
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 12/04/18



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