Student Spotlight: Striving to Save


Courtesy of Brooklyn Watts

Gracie Kaine

Brooklyn Watts has always been inspired by her mother’s passion for helping others through nursing. Following in her mother’s footsteps is what led Watts to become the hardworking nursing student at IU Southeast she is today.

For some, choosing a major can be stressful, but for Watts, her reason has always been crystal clear. “I have known that I wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl,” she says. “My mom is a nurse and seeing her take care of others has greatly influenced my decision.” Her mother helps others both on and off the clock; after witnessing her mother helped Watts’s quadriplegic aunt and uncle, she knew this was the path for her.

While many students nationwide begin their college journey as aspiring nurses, nursing majors attest that the program is rigorous, which can result in large numbers of them dropping the program. According to “Failure to Complete BSN Nursing Programs: Students’ Views” by Nancy Elkins, “the national dropout rate for nursing programs in the United States is 20%, and this high attrition rate is considered problematic.” Watts notes that over half of the students in her anatomy class of 30 had dropped it by the end of the semester.

With the rigorous classes and emotional stress of this field, how does someone stay motivated to keep going? “I choose to continue my education every day because of the end goal,” Watts says. “My goal is to become a nurse practitioner, and I will do anything in my power to make that happen.” She cites her family as an essential support system in her willingness to not only continue in the program but to put her best foot forward; however, Watts sees them less than she would prefer. “I have already had to make several sacrifices of time with family to study for exams,” she says. “I do give up a lot, but the goal is so worth it to me!”

She notes that this line of work is not for everyone. “It is tough, and you deal with things on a daily basis that I feel only those who are very strong-willed and hardheaded can get through,” she says. “You are faced with many scenarios, such as dying patients, that one has to have a disconnect for so that they do not take their job to heart.” Although this line of work is challenging, to her, it is all worth it for the chance to help others. “I genuinely enjoy getting to see the relief on a loved one’s face or a smile from someone who had been going through a long hospitalization,” she says.

Watts’s grit and passion have made her a successful nursing student, and the hope of a prosperous nursing career lies beyond the classroom.

Note:  This story resulted from a feature profile assignment in Journalism J-200 “Reporting, Writing, & Editing I,” a course redesigned by and taught by Lydia Lum.