By Raymond “Austin” Nation,
Nursing Master’s Student at CSU Fullerton
2010 Hearst/CSU Trustees’ Scholar
This is Erik Fallis of CSU Public Affairs. Today, CSU Voices and Views features Austin Nation.
Austin is pursuing a master’s degree in nursing at Cal State Fullerton. He has persevered through countless challenges: returning to school after 22-years away from the classroom and is balancing a career and education, all while managing the symptoms of a life-threatening illness.
This has not dampened Austin’s desire to pursue his educational dreams. He is committed to obtaining a doctorate in nursing and becoming a college or university faculty member.
Austin is an inspiration to many, and his achievements have earned him a 2010 Hearst/ CSU Trustees’ scholarship–one of the highest awards conferred on a student of the CSU system. And he has joined us to tell his story.
Raymond “Austin” Nation:
I am absolutely honored and thrilled to be a recipient of the Hearst scholarship and to be able to share a piece of my personal journey with you.
I have worked in a variety of settings. I think that I was kind of looking for what my niche in nursing was going to be, because there are so many areas that we get exposed to in our initial training–everything from working with babies that were tiny enough to fit literally in the palm of my hand, to working with patients that were dying and at the end of their life journey on the other end of the spectrum. And I actually found that my niche was in nursing administration, because I think for me it allowed me the opportunity to be sort of where all the action is–things that I say sort of go bump in the night.
My role as a nursing administrator became: I was nursing my staff and taking care of my staff and they in turn take care of the patients.
I have always known that the Cal State system, in particular Cal State Fullerton, was kind of the university that most of my peers went to. They spoke great things about their experiences there, and the preparation that the university prepared them with. I knew that was the place to come.
My experience at Cal State Fullerton and the nursing department has been absolutely phenomenal. I have never felt more encouraged, encouraged toward success.
I am the first of my family to ever attend a college or university and to go this far in academia. That was not a huge value in my family, they didn’t place a huge emphasis on that. And I have always kinda felt like the odd man out. So, as an uncle, as a brother, as a son, I just wanted my family to be proud of my accomplishments and really to make something more of my family.
The energy behind what I am doing is that I know that there is some place and something that I want to accomplish–something more left for me to do, something more left for me to give, and more lives that I can touch. And I’m not through yet.