This student spotlight comes all the way from our "Mile High City" satellite campus - AHU Denver! Meet Miranda Guyaux-Mitchell, a BSN student who graciously shared her story with us.
Name: Miranda Guyaux-Mitchell (soon to be Emsbach) Nickname: “M” but most people just call me Miranda Program:B.S. Nursing Hometown: Parker, CO Favorite thing to do in your free time: When I’m not studying you mean? Haha! Hang out with my dogs (Dottie & Drogo), go on lots of long walks, craft, garden, take naps, spend time with my friends, family and fiancée Favorite place to eat near campus: Starbucks, Maddie’s, Breakfast on Broadway (after finals or a big test)
How did you find out about and why did you choose AHU?
I found out about AHU through a friend [Alexis] whose mother-in-law worked for AHU Denver. I worked as a physical therapist technician for almost 4 years with Alexis, who is a PT, and she got the fire under me to apply. I made a list of things I wanted from a school: a faith-based program, close to home, high graduation and NCLEX passing percentages, small class sizes, etc. I went to [Colorado State University] CSU from 2010-2014 and felt like just a number in a classroom, with my smallest class size being 50+ students. I never really felt close to the faculty and felt as though I wanted to try something different with AHU.
What do you like the best about AHU?
The faith aspect! I am a Christian and I love that our faculty prays for us, prays before each start to the day, incorporates God and faith into all our studies and has resources for us to utilize when we need that little extra bit of prayer, forgiveness, and grace. I honestly think that caring for the WHOLE person, including faith (whatever faith that may be) is what sets us apart at AHU. Each start to the year we participated in the washing of the hands ceremony, where our faculty symbolically wash our hands and bless them to go out into the field. Knowing that we are working our hands for good, caring for people as if Jesus was caring for them, having our hands blessed by God, makes caring for patients just a little bit sweeter.
Why did you choose Nursing as your major?
I graduated CSU in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Occupational Therapy. I thought I wanted to be an OT, but after some trying times in the hospital with my mom’s boating accident. I was in and out of the hospital setting with her for almost 2 years. I saw what all the nurses did for her in the OR, ICU, rehabilitation, med-surgery, and neurology settings - I decided I wanted to be that light in somebody’s life. I wanted to be the nurse that sings with patients, laughs with [them], makes them feel like a real person and not just a room number. Oftentimes in nursing, we meet people on their worst days, or during their worst seasons. I want to be the nurse that makes each day just a little bit better for every patient and every family I have.
It is cliché to say that I chose this program to “help people”, but in all honesty, I did. I chose this profession to care for the sick, the poor, the dying, new and old life, and all of God’s children. I chose this major to be the nurse that holds your hand when you are scared, make you laugh when you are down, provide information when you are confused, and provide hope and light in the darkest days.
What have you enjoyed most about your program so far?
The friends I have met and the knowledge I have gained. I met some of my very best friends in this program. They say that you meet your lifelong friends in college and it’s so true! Study sessions turn into gossip hours with the girls, group projects turn into getting to know your classmates way more than you thought you would...My cohort is one of the many things that have kept me going through this program. They have brought me out of the moments when I feel like I can’t do it, can’t pass that test, can’t graduate. They have been there through the most wonderful times too. We support, love, and help teach each other that it is okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to still be learning, and to give ourselves some grace! We learn from each other, grow with each other, and so much more. Three of my classmates are IN my wedding this year, so to say we have become close is an understatement.
Do you have any advice for new students?
ASK QUESTIONS! In my cohort I am the question asker. At first, I was afraid to ask question in fear that people would think I was annoying. I quickly found out that most likely if one person has a question, at least one other person probably has the same question. If you don’t ask questions, you won’t learn. Use your teachers for their knowledge, each one of them know so much, each have their own way of doing things in the field, have different wheelhouses of expertise, and will show you tons of tools and tricks!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOURSELF! I, like most students, get caught up in the idea of getting straight A’s, studying all hours of the day, feeling guilty if I am doing anything besides studying. While studying is important, it is also important to take time for yourself. Easier said than done, right? But take time with your family, with your friends, with yourself. Do something that makes you feel good, resets your brain, brings you back to center gravity. Good grades are important, but mental and physical health is too!
Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Miranda! Your passion for serving others is an inspiration.