Kylie Crane, BSN Student
What brought you to the College of Nursing and what do you want to do with your degree?
When I was growing up I had an above average number of health issues and that gave me a passion for healthcare from all the amazing people who took care of me. Originally I wanted to be a pediatrician, but I soon realized that I saw nurses and nurse practitioners far more than I ever saw the actual doctor and that pushed me towards nursing. Science has always been one of my favorite subjects, but I wanted to have a lot of interaction with my patients as well. I hope to help as many people as I can with my degree and eventually go back to school for an advanced nursing degree in either pediatrics or obstetrics.
What is most challenging as a nursing student?
For me, it is learning that it’s okay to not be perfect and to lean on your classmates for support. Throughout my entire life, up until my junior year of nursing school, I was a 4.0 student and never had to stress about my grades. However, nursing school requires me to think in a different way, has a very high workload and challenges you like nothing ever has before. I love the challenge and learning to think like a nurse, but it took a while for me to accept that it is okay to need help from my clinical group and to get a B in a class on occasion.
What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess?
One skill every nurse should possess is empathy. Even as a nursing student, it is clear that we see situations and injuries that are utterly heartbreaking; the majority of the time a nurse cannot personally relate to every single patient’s situation. However, if she can show some empathy and put herself in that patient’s shoes, it helps remind nurses why we do what we do – to help those in need in any way we can.
What is/was your favorite class?
My obstetrics class with Professor Schneider. I’ve always had the women’s care field in the back of my head for future jobs, but after taking this class I absolutely fell in love with Labor and Delivery. Professor Schneider is one of my favorite teachers and made every class interesting and fun, making the material easy to learn. The class inspired my senior thesis topic and I’m lucky enough to have Professor Schneider as my thesis director this coming fall. Getting to see live births and C-sections was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and it truly won me over for my future plans.
Tell us about being a University Ambassador.
I became a University Ambassador (UA) the fall of my sophomore year at USC in order to get more involved with the University. When I was in high school, I remember wanting to be a tour guide and share in the excitement of all the potential new students. Being in UA is a great way for me to unwind my brain once a week and share my love of USC with about 15 students. Turning off my brain from studying and reading to go walk around campus helps me relax and allows me to view the entire beautiful USC campus, which I only get to be on a couple times a week for classes. I’m the only upper-level nursing student in the organization so I get to share my clinical experiences and stories with the large number of potential nursing majors who come for tours. I’ve made some amazing friends in the organization and met people in majors of every college at USC. Being an ambassador is, by far, one of the best decisions I’ve made while at South Carolina.
Any hobbies and/or other extracurricular activities?
In my free time I really enjoy exploring Columbia and the outdoors. The river walk is one of my favorite spots to go walk around, or drive up and hike table rock for a day. I joined my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, my freshman year and always have lots of fun activities to get involved in with that. I’m a very artistic person and I use that to help paint any banners and decorations needed for functions KKG puts on. Staying active and cooking are two of my favorite hobbies as well (it’s all about balance)!
What are your plans after graduation?
I am hoping to go into Labor & Delivery nursing and see how I do there. I think travel nursing would be a fun opportunity to see and work in different states once I have worked in one place for a bit. Eventually I want to go back to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner, but I want to wait to get some experience so I know what I want to specialize in. If labor & delivery works out for me, I might consider becoming a midwife at some point as well. One of the best parts about becoming a nurse is all the possibilities there are for the future.
What advice would you give to future nursing students?
Keep going and to not give up on yourself. Nursing school is hard and sometimes it may feel impossible, but if you focus and believe in yourself then you will get through it and be able to find the type of nursing that is right for you. Lean on your nursing friends because they know exactly what you’re going through. The days are long but the years are short, so don’t forget to have some fun and enjoy college too; one day you’ll blink and be an old senior applying for jobs, wishing you were back in freshman year.