Meet Student Ambassador Rachel Lappin

Posted: August 12, 2020

Meet College of Nursing Student Ambassador Rachel Lappin! 

Rachel is a first-semester junior from Union, Ky. Rachel, like all of our CON student ambassadors, is a great resource for prospective students and new students looking for more information on UK's College of Nursing.  She offers a first-hand experience on what it is like to be a student at the college and is readily available for advice and to answer questions.  

Learn more about Rachel and her experience at UK in her own words:

Q.) What are your nursing career goals after graduating?

A.) Following graduation, I am planning to attend graduate school and pursue a DNP while simultaneously working as an RN. I would like to become a nurse practitioner. Currently, I think I would like to have a career in the field of pediatrics but also have interest in labor and delivery or NICU nursing as well.

Q.) Why did you choose UK College of Nursing?

A.) The UK College of Nursing has an amazing variety of resources available for students to help ensure success and confidence upon admission to the workforce. These resources include their state-of-the-art simulation lab, affiliations with hospitals both on- and off-campus, a well-qualified group of faculty, staff, and administrative individuals, and spaces for students to study to support their learning. Along with this, UK has one of the highest pass rates on the NCLEX of any school in Kentucky, with 98-100% of students passing each year for the past 5 years.

The statistics were what first drew me to look at UK, but I chose the UK College of Nursing over all others because it felt like home. From the first time I stepped into the building, everything felt right- I felt comfortable, the students I met were friendly and inviting, and they offered all of the materials and resources that I felt I would need to be successful in nursing school. I immediately felt like I belonged here, and this feeling has continued to develop throughout my time here.

Q.) Favorite things you like to do in Lexington or on campus?

A.) My favorite thing, whether it be in Lexington or on campus, is being outside. If I am downtown with friends, I like to walk around and check out different shops and boutiques, do some window shopping, and try food at local restaurants. If it’s cold out, my friends and I like to go to Triangle Park in downtown Lexington and ice skate.

If I am considering study time, I really enjoy meeting up with friends at the library and studying together either outside by Starbucks or on the balcony on the third floor. There are also great outdoor study spots outside of the Lewis Honors College and in front of some of the dorms- perfect areas to read or complete the more leisurely assignments in the sun.

Q. )Any favorite experiences or lessons so far in nursing school:  

A. )My favorite experience in nursing school to this point has generally been my time spent in clinicals. I really enjoy the hands-on aspect of clinicals. Getting to apply skills in a clinical setting while also analyzing the individual needs and providing personalized care for your patient is challenging and exciting. I will never forget my first times demonstrating skills with patients, such as giving my first injection or completing my first medication pass. The exhilaration of these activities makes me excited for each sequential clinical and for the semesters to come.

I have learned a lot since starting nursing school- much more than I ever would have imagined after only one year. However, as a perfectionist at heart, probably the most important lesson that I’ve learned is that perfection is very subjective and dependent on the patient, the situation, and your own judgment. This has also shown me that making mistakes is part of the learning process, and I have come to appreciate the value of making mistakes in simulations and labs where I am able to learn from them.

Q.) What advice would you give to prospective students?

A.)

  1. Try not to be too overwhelmed by the stories you hear about nursing school. Remember that these stories are the experiences of one person, and hearing about the bad things can make nursing school sound really intimidating. I promise you that you can handle it if you are willing to put in the work.
  2. Do your best to develop good study habits early. If you didn’t develop study skills in high school, try to find what works well for you while you are in pre-nursing classes. Having even a basic understanding of what does and does not work for you when it comes to studying will save you from a lot of headaches down the road. You will have enough new things on your plate when you start nursing classes- how to study doesn’t have to be one of them!
  3. Invest yourself in your success. Work to deeply understand the material in the prerequisite classes (like anatomy, biology, and psychology) rather than learning only for the exam. It’s easy to say that the prerequisite classes don’t matter that much and the grade is more important, but from experience, investing your time and energy at the beginning makes everything easier in the long run.
  4. Make friends with someone a semester or two ahead of you in the program. Older nursing students are a wonderful resource to have when it comes to advice for classes, tricks for studying, and even just encouragement on a hard day. Those who are ahead of you are where they are because they made it through the same things. They understand, and more than likely, they will want to help you!

Connect with Rachel

If you have any other questions for me or want to talk about your interest in the UK College of Nursing, please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk to you more about the college and hear about your interest in becoming a part of our community! You can email me at rachael.lappin@uky.edu including the phrase “prospective student” in your subject line (just to make sure I see your message) and I will do my best to reply within 48 hours. I hope to hear from you and see you in the College of Nursing soon!