Compassion Defines Female Student of the Year

June 7, 2017

Topeka, Kan. – A new opportunity to give is very pleasing for Stacey Broers, a 2017 Practical Nursing graduate at Washburn University Institute of Technology.

“I often think about the nurses and hospital employees who made a difference in my life during difficult times, and I want to be that person for others,” she said. “It truly feels like a calling to be able to use the losses and difficulties in my life to make a difference for those going through similar trials. A positive outlook, compassion and sincere smile really do go a long way.”

Her journey to become a non-traditional student followed the common paths of marriage, children and years as a stay-at-home mom. In time, she found new satisfaction by working as an education paraprofessional, a venture that was the first of many steps she took to bolster her self-confidence.  However, she had desired to become a nurse for as long as she could remember, but feared that a hearing impairment would be a road block. Now, she looks back and realizes she “just didn’t believe in myself enough that I could do it.”

Broers began reassessing her life priorities during a series of traumatic life-changing events – the loss of a child, parents and a grandparent. The most important lesson she said she learned from the pain and heartache, is that time can’t be taken for granted. And it was after the sudden loss of her mother in 2014 that she finally took the first steps to realizing her long held dream of entering the nursing profession.

She knew she was headed in the right direction after completing the CNA course at Washburn Tech, followed by entry into the Practical Nursing program in the fall 2016 semester.

“It was a very intense and overwhelming time, but also very gratifying,” she said, giving credit to the two instructors who helped her realize her potential.

Broers, a resident of Ozawkie, also welcomed the opportunity to become involved in a variety of student activities at Washburn Tech. She joined the SkillsUSA program, and returned from competition with a gold medal from participating on the Health Knowledge Bowl team, and a silver medal in medical terminology. She also takes great pride in her recent induction into the National Technical Honor Society in addition to being named the Outstanding Female Student at Washburn Tech.

“The combination of teaching staff, learning tools such as the SIM lab and clinical experiences has definitely empowered me and given me the confidence to seek employment for my first job as a practical nurse,” she said.

But her education is far from over, she said, noting she plans to pursue an associate of nursing degree online.

“There is always a lesson to be learned, and a difference to be made. If you don’t seize those opportunities, then it really is all for nothing,” she said.