Student view:

Marlin Till: From lifeguarding to nursing school

July 11, 2018

Marlin Till is a senior in the College of Nursing.

Once becoming a certified lifeguard at 15-years-old, I developed an interest in pursuing a career in healthcare. This passion led me to enroll in a nursing assistant class in high school. A great teacher of mine, who was also a nurse, then guided me through the process to obtain a bachelor of science in nursing.

Nursing appeals to me because I can work on different units of the hospital without needing a fellowship, and nursing doesn't require me to stick to one specialty. Moreover, nurses are excellent communicators who can multitask and operate under pressure. In the Traditional BSN ACCESS program at Michigan State University, I am always challenged — whether it’s an assignment, task or exam.

From my experiences lifeguarding and shadowing in the emergency department, I think critical care is the most suitable department for me, as I am quick on my feet.

I take pride in calling myself a nursing student. Here, I am well supported by the faculty and staff. My professors check-in with me when I am not myself and push me towards achieving my greatest potential.

For example, I experienced an academic setback when taking pathophysiology. It was a difficult time for me, and I thought that I might have to change my major. Thankfully, the second time I took the course my grade improved.

Although this setback pushed back my graduation, I learned that if I push myself to work harder than I ever have before, I will succeed. Once you get the feeling that you’re about to lose something, you wake up and realize that your life needs to change. That is what I needed in my life — change. I had to change the way I study, think and focus overall.

My hard work and dedication to my goals are beginning to realize itself. I am one of three to receive the 2018 Willie Mae Suggs Scholarship.

I am also interested in potentially working with research faculty to create a new style of nursing science – by improving nursing diagnoses, outcomes and interventions. I want to work in a clinical setting and teach in the academic setting.

I feel like the College of Nursing is my home, and I could not study another major.