There were moments when Paige McBride ‘20 never imagined she would be able to attend college, let alone receive a degree.
Today, the recipient of the OHSU Golden Lamp Award is extremely proud to join the nursing profession as she graduates from the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing, Monmouth Campus.
“Before starting this journey, I was told that nursing school was going to be challenging, and I did not know if I had what it would take to graduate,” McBride said. “ Looking back at this journey, I am proud of all of the hard work I put into my nursing education, and I feel incredibly honored to accept this award.”
Achieving this milestone required McBride to embark on a journey of personal growth where she learned she is more capable than she believed, and there are people eager to support her endeavors.
“Growing up, I did not have the best grades, and I really struggled in school. It was not until high school where I found out that I could get good grades through different study methods,” she says. “I put in a lot of hard work to catch up to my peers, allocating more time to my studies than most.”
McBride has been supporting herself financially since she was 16 years old. It was her first job as a babysitter to two young boys who had medical issues that inspired her to consider becoming a nurse. In middle school, she became CPR certified and learned how to use an Epi-pen, inhaler and nebulizer. She became the boys’ live-in nanny while a student at Temecula Valley High School in California, adding the job taught her responsibility and sparked her interest in the medical field.
“This job and the family were influential in paving my nursing career. They taught me that I am smart, capable and would make a great nurse,” she says.
When she began researching different nursing programs, OHSU’s program at WOU quickly rose to the top of her list.
“OHSU is a recognized nursing program in Oregon and focuses on students’ development of critical thinking and clinical judgment skills,” McBride says. “OHSU/WOU partnership has created an environment that fosters learning and supports the students. Nursing school is difficult on its own, which is why a supportive environment is vital.”
McBride is grateful for her nursing school cohort, sharing while each person has a unique background, the cohort has one thing in common, a desire to be a nurse.
“Nursing school is tough, but there is a sense of unity in getting through it all together,” McBride says. “There were many ups and downs and lots of long nights. One motivator that has kept me going is hope for my future career as a nurse.”
McBride says the OHSU School of Nursing program created a family of nursing students who have together experienced the challenges of nursing school, celebrations of our achievements and even a pandemic.
“I have enjoyed getting to know my peers and faculty, and I know the friendships that were created are ones that will last a lifetime,” McBride says. “I am appreciative of the faculty that stood by our side, guiding us from novice students, and molding us into the strong nurses we are today.”
While COVID-19 has changed many of her and her cohort’s plans, it has not changed their desire to be a nurse. After graduation, McBride plans to work as a critical care nurse.
She hopes to pay it forward by inspiring someone to believe what may seem impossible is quite possible.
“I do my best to support others by being present and listening when they need it,” she says.