Students in field

Alumni Spotlight: Shayla Cornish (’21) talks about life as a nurse

July 15, 2021

Alumna Shayla Cornish (’21), an afternoon shift nurse at Canal View nursing home in Hancock, Michigan, reflects on her experience as a nursing major in Finlandia’s Hirvonen College of Health Sciences.

“Right after I graduated I was set up to take my boards and hop on right to the job,” said Cornish. Her determination and hard work paid off as she was able to find a job right out of nursing school.  “This community is really great because we have two hospitals, clinics, and just plenty of space to get your experience in the hospital and the community.”

When reflecting back on her biggest highlight as a FinnU student, Cornish mentions that her favorite memories include the close bonds she was able to form with her nursing cohort. Her graduating class still stays in touch updating one another on new jobs and other life events.

ALUMNI adviCe FROM SHAYLA CORNISH FOR A senior student entering the workforce

  1. You will be uncomfortable starting your first nursing job and that’s okay. Getting out into the working world after graduation is like jumping into a cold lake to swim- uncomfortable and scary at first, but once you get accustomed to the temperature you can enjoy yourself and remember why you love it. On days when it feels like I am a failure or I am not cut out for the job, I am revitalized by the interactions I have with the people I care for and seeing the positive effect I can have on them. If you focus on the positive aspects of your job and not the negative, you can always make it a great day.

2. The rumors are true- most of your learning does actually happen on the job. School and work are two different beasts and school can only prepare you to a certain extent. Be a competent student and then be a perceptive and receptive new employee. It might feel like you know nothing when you start that first nursing job, but your skills will carry over the more you learn how to perform your specific job- trust in it!

3. You should know that not every nursing job is right for everyone. If you do not enjoy a particular field and decide not to work in it, you should not feel guilty just because “everyone should get experience in XYZ area of nursing”. You are the one who worked hard for your degree- work somewhere you enjoy and make the best of your career.


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