Trial and error is a concept that students learn during their time in college. Nursing student Peyton Preston knows all about this process. She initially attended another college for two years before deciding to make a change.
The Omaha native knew College of Saint Mary was an option for school if she wanted to stay in the metro area. During Easter break in 2022, she set up a tour. Within two weeks, she had determined what she wanted to do.
“I knew CSM was the school I wanted to attend,” she said.
The transfer process was easy because CSM offers a seamless transition. Most of Peyton’s credits transferred from the college she previously attended.
The cost of college can be daunting. Peyton was weary of that. However, her anxiety disappeared when she learned about the scholarships CSM offers to students.
The Josie Harper Nursing Scholarship caught Peyton’s attention when she was looking to transfer. The scholarship helps students who are first-generation, single parents, ethnic minorities, and/or Pell-eligible and who desire a nursing career. Through the generosity of the Harper Family Foundation, CSM provides a debt-free pathway to 100 new nursing students over four years, which will, in turn, help overcome healthcare disparities within the Omaha community. The first set of scholarships were awarded in 2022.
Since enrolling at CSM, Peyton has enjoyed the inclusivity and diversity CSM provides. Though she joined clubs at her previous college, Peyton didn’t feel like she belonged.
“I just felt like a ghost,” she said.
At CSM, she took the initiative to get more involved and has found she has grown.
“I’m eager to volunteer and speak up now,” she said. “I just feel like I’m a leader now.”
Peyton is still able to balance her school and work life to reach her goals. She works as a nurse technician at Boys Town National Research Hospital while earning her degree. Peyton works alongside another nurse and loves the camaraderie with the staff and families at the hospital. Her employers are very understanding of her studies and want her to prioritize her needs.
After completing her pediatric clinical rotation, Peyton has decided to specialize in pediatric nursing. She’s also open to the idea of potentially teaching at CSM in the future.
By Chloe Inhelder