Prior to attending GateWay Community College, Miranda Yost was on a very different trajectory. Having received her associate degree in dance, she performed ballet and modern dance professionally for 15 years. After a severe injury, Yost found herself struggling to figure out what to do next.
Like many people, Yost was in a constant struggle with herself. The feeling of not being smart enough to pursue a career in nursing consumed her. She also struggled with anxiety and ADHD, which made it difficult for her to complete her math courses.
“I transferred to a state university and bounced around in a few different majors. Finally, in Fall 2017, my mom encouraged me to take a Nursing Assistant course. Mom really does know best sometimes,” Yost said with a grin.
As a GateWay alumnus, Yost’s mom was eager to have her daughter follow in her footsteps. She worked her way through the Licensed Practical Nursing Program and later became a Registered Nurse. Yost shared, “I knew I wanted to go to a community college but knowing someone personally who went through it solidified my decision on GateWay!”
Yost worked full-time as a Behavioral Health Technician for three years while finishing up her prerequisites for nursing school. During this time, she worked primarily with adolescent patients and discovered her calling.
“I know in my heart that adolescent psychiatric nursing is what I'm meant to do. I love working with kids and I hope that for years to come I can help our community find healing. Mental health is so important.”
She is now in her second semester of the Fast-Track Practical Nursing program. She enjoys bragging to her friends about how her instructors are the best. She recounts her first semester and the impact Lisa Warren had on her.
“One thing that she taught us that will always stay with me is the importance of saying ‘thank you’ to our preceptors. Thanks to her, I always have a pack of thank you cards ready to give out to those that make a difference in my journey to becoming a nurse.”
As many nursing students navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, Yost is thankful for the opportunity to attend her clinicals. Her cohort is currently at the VA Hospital providing vaccines to veterans.
“I have been able to utilize my skills there and confidently educate our patients on their vaccine while answering any questions they may have. It has helped me grow as a student nurse and feel more confident in my abilities.”
She shares this bit of advice for current students, “Take it one day at a time! It's so easy to become overwhelmed in nursing school while balancing all of the deadlines and upcoming assignments. Stay organized and focus on one thing at a time. There's no need to stress yourself out unnecessarily.”
Yost plans to bridge into the Registered Nursing program at GateWay once she graduates from the Practical Nursing program in May. She hopes to eventually become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and help bring change and reform in regard to mental health and patient treatment.
“There are so many kids out there that are hurting and need help getting on the right track. They need our support and I hope I can do that for as many as I possibly can.”
To learn more about the Fast-Track Practical Nursing Program at GateWay, visit gatewaycc.edu/practical-nursing.