Senior Spotlight: Emily Falldorf

By Michael Linnell
University Communications Director

MINOT, N.D. – Emily Falldorf can recall exactly when she wanted to be a nurse.

“My sister was born premature and had to be taken by ambulance, there was a blizzard so helicopters couldn’t fly, to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Fargo,” she recalls. “My family and I stayed in the Ronald McDonald house there close to the hospital and her. I knew from a very young age that, without the nurses and doctors who helped us, she wouldn’t be the amazing person she is today.

“Because of that, I want to help families and people the way we were!”

Now the senior nursing student from Bemidji, Minnesota is set to do just that. Following graduation, she will begin at Sanford Health in her hometown, working at the hospital’s Wwomen and children’s floor as an obstetrics/pediatric registered nurse.

The journey was highlighted this past week as the Minot State nursing department held a special drive-by pinning ceremony.

“I really want to thank the nursing department for having the drive-by pinning ceremony for us. They put together a parade of cars in the Old Main parking lot, and we were able to drive around all our professors cheering for us and giving us care packages,” Falldorf said. “They really made the ceremony special, and it meant so much to our class.”

It was that kind of personal touch that helped Falldorf make her decision when choosing what university to attend. While she knew her degree choice from an early age, Falldorf also had a dream of playing collegiate volleyball. During the recruiting process, multiple schools were interested in her athletic ability, but MSU stood out in its commitment to help her achieve both her academic and athletic goals.

“I knew from the start that majoring in nursing was super important to me,” she said. “I went to numerous schools who were interested in me for volleyball but told me I had to change my major as nursing was going to be too difficult to do while playing a college sport.

“When I visited Minot State, it was made known right away that the coaches and professors were going to work with me, and that I absolutely could major in nursing and they would support and help me.” 

She made a lasting impression on the teaching staff at Minot State as well. Nursing professor Kim Tiedman believes her innate drive and determination will lead to big things from the recent graduate.

“Emily is a very driven and hardworking individual as she was able to balance being an athlete while in nursing school — which is not an easy thing to do,” Tiedman said. “She is compassionate, kind, and works well with anyone. These are important qualities in a nurse, and she will be a wonderful addition to the nursing profession.”

Falldorf found that her major and playing an NCAA Division II sport was difficult but managed the two aspects of her life. Having supportive teammates and professors helped in the process.

“When we would get to the hotels on away trips, I would spend time studying in the lobby with some of my teammates. When I was practicing my assessment skills and taking blood pressures, my entire team let me practice on them,” Falldorf said. “It is hard but having such a supportive coach and professors really makes a huge difference. The nursing professors did everything they could to help me succeed. It’s a rewarding feeling knowing that some days I went from clinical in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), learning so much, and being able to help a patient, to competing in a collegiate volleyball game all in the same day.”

She even spotted those same professors in the stands during home games.

“The nursing department from the start was appealing to me, because of the facilities and the staff,” she said. “The labs have a ton of equipment and simulation opportunities.

“The professors are probably the best part though. They supported me from day one with volleyball, and there wasn’t a home game where one, if not more, of my professors were there cheering for me. I also loved how personal the education was.”

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: 05/18/20   

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