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2015-2016 nursing class takes its shape

Alison Kugler / Facebook
Alison Kugler was recently accepted into the nursing program for fall of 2015. Pictured with Kugler is her mother Lisa and boyfriend Zach. Both indviduals have been instrumental in her dream of becoming a nurse.

Ask any prospective nursing student and they just might tell you that opening up a piece of mail is sometimes the hardest thing to do. For UCC sophomore Alison Kugler that was the case. Kugler found herself stalking the mailbox these past few weeks anticipating news of her acceptance into the 2015-16 nursing program. Kugler, and dozens of nursing students just like her, opened their letters searching for one word to validate years of hard work; “congratulations.”

“It was incredibly scary when I opened up that letter,” Kugler said. “I couldn’t breathe. I was just looking for that one word. I wanted to see that one word that said, “congratulations.”’

For Kugler, the news meant she was one step closer to achieving a dream that started when she was just a child.

“Nursing has always been what I wanted to do. It really has never been a question.  Since I was a little girl it has always just been what I wanted.”

Growing up in the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Kugler never imagined herself living and going to school in Oregon. However, Kugler is clear about what brought her out west.

“Love, it’s as simple as that,” Kugler said. “My boyfriend really had his heart set on this area. He had family out here and spoke so highly of it that I knew it was worth checking out. Five years later here we are.” 

While Roseburg has become her second home, Kugler admits she struggles at times being so far away from her family, especially her mom Lisa.

“It’s hard being away from my mom,” Kugler said. “She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her health just hasn’t been that great. Mom has had to have numerous neck and back surgeries over the past years.”

Responsible for the death of millions of people annually world-wide, multiple sclerosis has no known cure. The degenerative disease negatively affects the body in a multitude of ways. For Kugler, her mom’s battle with the disease has motivated her even more to continue her pursuit of nursing.

“My mom has been in and out of hospitals since ’97,” Kugler said. “I have seen what having someone that provides good care means to a patient and at the same time I have seen what kind of impact having someone that doesn’t has on the same patient. It really affects you. I am so excited about at some point being educated enough to help people and to be able to have a positive impact on their lives. ”

As you could imagine, informing her mom about her acceptance into the  nursing program was something Kugler really looked  forward to.

“She cried,” Kugler said. “Mom cried when I told her I made it into the program. She said she was proud of me. It was really excited to tell her the news.”

Kugler admits while these past weeks have been exciting, there is something else she is looking forward to.

“I can’t wait for summer break to get here,” Kugler said. “I’ve been taking classes since this time last year and I’m really looking for some time off. These past few years have not been easy.”

She offers a bit of advice for students who are applying for the nursing program and are still working on getting their nursing prerequisites completed.      

“First of all you have to find a balance between life and school,” Kugler said. “Also, expect the unexpected and plan ahead. Stay in touch with your advisors. Check with your advisors every term to make certain there aren’t any changes and your on the right track. You don’t want to take the chance of missing something and setting yourself back a year. And ultimately, just take it one class at a time.”

With all the time and work it takes to even be able to apply to the nursing program, Kugler is empathetic to those students who don’t make it and have to reapply the next school year.

“It is tough to see other people work there ass off and just fall short,” Kugler said. “This program isn’t easy and getting into it isn’t easy. I’m not sure the average person really knows what this entails.”

Ultimately Kugler looks forward to her future after school knowing that she still has a couple more difficult years ahead of her.

“In 10 years I hope to be back in Minnesota working in a hospital or one of the cancer care centers,” Kugler said. “I hope that doesn’t sound bad that I plan on leaving the area some day after graduation. This really has been my second home. But, I guess we never really know what the future holds.”