Acts of Ambition: Bilingual sophomore pursues nursing to help others

Kynslie Otte

Sophomore nursing student Lauren Case has an impressive résumé, ranging from involvement in student organizations to her excellent academics, but most importantly, her passion for nursing.

With such a busy schedule, Case hardly has time to relax. In Chi Omega, she serves as the PanHellenic delegate for her sorority.

She is required to attend multiple weekly meetings for this position. She was selected to be a Trustee’s Scholar, and is part of the community service committee in the program.

Case is passionate about helping others.

Last year, she participated in Roos in Action, an after-school program where she helped elementary students with various learning activities.

“I served as a friend for the kids because a lot of the parents aren’t available to pick up kids until well after school is out,” Case said.

“It was a great experience, but I didn’t have time to do it this semester. It was cool to see how different Kansas City’s school district is compared to where I went to school. It made me feel very fortunate.”

She is also a member of the Student Nurses Association. Fluent in Spanish, she has quickly worked toward completing her Spanish minor.

She works part-time at Frantera’s Mexican Restaurant in Olathe to improve her Spanishspeaking abilities. Though Case enjoys all of these activities, she says her passions focus on nursing and Latin culture.

Because of her ACT score and high school GPA, Case was directly admitted into the nursing program without needing to apply.

She wanted to pursue nursing since high school.

“I took a class my senior year of high school called ‘Exploring Health Professions’ where I got to shadow health care professionals in hospital settings every day,” Case said. “I really liked what nurses did, and I realized they did a lot more than people give them credit for. You have to be intelligent, quick on your feet and a problem solver. There is so much you can do, and there is never one day in nursing that’s the same as another.”

After completing general education requirements during the first year of college, nursing students begin clinicals their second year. Overseen by a registered nurse, this gives students in the program the opportunity to apply nursing knowledge in a practical setting rather than only reading about the processes.

Case enjoys the real-life experience. Though she’s worked at other locations, her clinicals are currently at St. Luke’s Hospital. Her desire to help others and her fluent Spanish prove valuable when interacting with patients.

“I would love to work in a setting where I know I can communicate with Spanish-speaking patients,” Case said. “I’ve already had two experiences where I served as a translator for the patient. The patient was so grateful, and I could actually have a real conversation rather than hand-motions or picking up a few words here and there.”

Originally, Case wanted to be a labor/delivery nurse. She had a previous opportunity to view two live births and a c-section, and was fascinated by the procedure.

“I think birth is amazing, and I wanted to be a part of the whole process,” Case said.

However, after experiencing clinicals, she changed her mind about her desired nursing field.

“I’ve seen that there are other departments in nursing where patients have much more complicated ailments and it’s interesting to see all of the different medications they’re on, and how all of the different disease processes interconnect,” Case said. “It elevates the level of nursing care you have to deliver. I think I would be better suited for something like that.”

Over the summer, Case plans to study abroad in Buenos Aires to complete her Spanish minor. She will take classes at a university and live with a host family. Because of her long, vested interest in Latin culture, Case has traveled to Mexico several times, and is excited to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country.

“Spanish culture is so warm and they value family and friendships,” Case said. “I feel like Latin people are generally just very happy, joyful people. Spanish is obviously a very useful language, so on the practical side, I chose Spanish because I knew I’d be able to use it.”

Finding time to relax with her busy schedule proves difficult. Case is able to practically manage her stress.

“Listening to music is calming, and when I’m really overwhelmed with everything, I like to work out,” she said. “Even though I’m so busy with everything, I think it’s worth it.”

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