HSU Nursing Student To Attend Critical Care Nurse Residency Program

May 12, 2020 Felicity Neptune, Staff Writer

(ABILENE, Texas)– Recent HSU graduate, Emily Pierce has been accepted into Cook Children’s Medical Center’s Critical Care Nurse Residency Program in Fort Worth. Pierce received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and is studying to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) that will give her the certification to be a registered nurse (RN).

“I genuinely love helping people in ways that they cannot help themselves, and nursing is an incredible platform to serve others,” said Pierce. “My personal motivation in being a nurse has always been ‘to meet the spiritual needs of my patients and their families through meeting their physical needs.’”

Working with children is one of Pierce’s biggest passions. She plans to take the Pediatric Nursing Certification in the future.

“I have always had the desire to serve specifically in the neonatal and/or pediatric specialties,” she said. “Kiddos have a special place in my heart, so for me the nursing field allows me to serve one of the most vulnerable populations in the world that has no means to help themselves.”

Her inspiration to serve comes from her late pastor, Earl “Buddy” Duggins. Pierce has attended Forest Home Baptist Church in her hometown of Kilgore since she was a child and often continues to visit.

“It is my desire that I see each patient, family member, nurse, or physician which the same lens that he viewed each person that he encountered, which was through the eyes of Jesus,” said Pierce. “I pray that through my career and personal life that I can impact a fraction of the number of people that he impacted and that my patients, their families, and my peers see the hands and feet of Jesus in every action that I take. I hope that I take the love and grace he so effortlessly extended to me and further extend it to the souls of those I get the joy to care for at Cook Children’s Medical Center.”

At Cook, Pierce will participate in the Critical Care Nurse Residency Program, which includes two phases. Phase one has students participate in a six-month rotation through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU), and Emergency Department (ED) as well as a didactic portion that teaches vital information related to the participating nurse’s field and profession. The didactic portion includes curriculum such as interactive case studies, facilitated discussions amongst colleagues, and simulation experiences, allowing room for educational growth and achieving certifications. During phase two, Pierce will be placed in one of the four units from phase one, depending on personal preference, best fit, and organizational needs.

The Future

Nursing school has been a difficult journey for Pierce, but as it comes to the end, she admits she is excited, grateful, and also worried about the future.

“Nursing school is no task for the weak and has truly tested me physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, so to finally see the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel is thrilling,” she said. “I am so excited to start doing what I know the good Lord placed me on this earth to do, and that is to faithfully serve a vulnerable group of His people while pointing all glory to Him.”

Pierce is also contemplating the transition from college into a full-time healthcare position.

Close friends and senior nursing students, Ashleigh Jacquez (left) and Emily Pierce pose for a photo after their final clinical at HSU’s Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.
Close friends and senior nursing students, Ashleigh Jacquez (left) and Emily Pierce pose for a photo after their final clinical at HSU’s Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing.

“I know that the transition will be difficult and that I still have a lot of growing to do, which is completely expected and normal,” she said. “But as a perfectionist, it creates worry for me. Because of that, I am even more thankful that Cook Children’s chose me to come alongside them and grow in my abilities as a nurse.”

Although she is entering the profession at a historic and unpredictable time, she is not worried about what it is like working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. To graduate on time, nursing students were allowed to continue working in the clinical setting, allowing Pierce to already have some experience working on the frontlines.

“In my personal experience, the pandemic has not affected how I perform as a nurse, rather it has only changed what I look like when in the healthcare setting,” she explained. “Our duty to our patients has not changed, rather we just have to wear a mask and safety glasses at all times and more personal protective equipment dependent upon what area of the hospital you are placed.”

Pierce said nursing was the profession she was called to do, and a crisis is “just another reason the nursing profession was created.”

For more information about the nursing program, visit the Hardin-Simmons University official website.

If interested in the Critical Care Nurse Residency Program, visit cookchildrens.org.