News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

SHS graduate honored by university

Michaela Tucker (formerly Miller) graduated from Sisters High School in 2016. Since then, she has completed her Bachelor of Health Science’s Degree at California Baptist University. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in the spring of 2020, not only with a health science degree, but also an Outstanding Student Award recognition.

California Baptist University awards this outstanding student based on GPA, as well as involvement in the university and community and, as a Christian university, demonstrating Christ-like principles. Tucker received the award at the end of her tenure at university this past spring.

“It was nice to get the recognition from the faculty and staff of the university because I respect them, it was nice to know that they thought highly of me,” said Tucker.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was unable to receive the award at an in-person graduation, so she was presented the award during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Tucker is now in an accelerated nursing program to get her license to practice as a registered nurse. She is one semester into the program at Concordia University in Irvine, California. The accelerated program means nurses can get certified in just 16 months of schooling versus two years.

“It is definitely hard and is accelerated learning. It is nice to go from book learning to hands-on learning now,” said Tucker.

Tucker chose nursing because of the philosophy of care that nurses embody. Initially, she was opposed to going into medicine because both her parents are doctors and everyone assumed she would practice medicine. However, she loved the idea of being challenged by medicine. She considered general and public-health and physician-assistant programs, but ultimately decided on nursing.

“I decided to go the nursing route because I had always been drawn to caring for people. It is really a lot more one-on-one patient care and I chose it for how nurses approach their patients, to care for the person as a whole, not just the biological-medical need,” she said.

Tucker’s experience in her nursing program has been nothing short of unique. She began the program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, the curriculum and practice of learning has shifted. The professors within her program had to get creative in figuring out how to teach in-person whilst in the middle of a pandemic where physical distance is priority. One of her classes had the students practicing physical exams on mannequins instead of a real person.

“We are a class of nurses that are starting the learning process in a unique and hard time and overcoming hurdles; we are wearing PPE all the time, and even the professors are changing the material that we are studying based on what’s happening,” she said.

Tucker plans to finish out her program in Southern California and wait to see where she will go next.

“My husband is in the military so that will kind of dictate where we end up and I can really work anywhere as a nurse,” she said.

Tucker hopes to eventually get a doctorate degree and become a nurse practitioner and work in public health and wellness.

One of the reasons Tucker was chosen as Outstanding Student at her university was due to her involvement outside of her studies. Tucker played on the soccer team and was involved with university life. Tucker, while attending Sisters High School, was also quite involved in her school and community life. Tucker’s involvement at Sisters High School and in her community carried over to her college life and community.

“I think one of the unique things about Sisters was the teachers really taught us to be good students, but also more on being well-rounded people and that there was more than academics,” she said. “I am so thankful for growing up there and having the unique opportunities that we had to do fun extracurricular activities that were outside of just academics.”


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