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  • Matthew  Nelson
  • Matthew Nelson

  • Decision to attend Emporia State led to Mayo Clinic experience

  • The calendar had just flipped from January to February when Matthew Nelson received a packet in the mail. He noticed the Mayo Clinic emblem on the envelope and it was not unexpected since he had spent about six hours to complete an internship application with Mayo about two weeks earlier.

    What happened after he opened the package was a tad bit unexpected.

    "When I opened the packet the first sentence read, 'We are extremely pleased to be writing to you today and extending an offer for a position in our Summer III program working in the Department of Nursing.'"

    Nelson ran in to have his roommate read the letter for verification and perhaps to pinch him to make sure he was not dreaming.

    "It took me a little time to believe that I was accepted," he says.

    Reality set in, though. He had been accepted into the prestigious and intensive 10-week internship program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. No cakewalk, his application had been one of just 111 selected out of about 1,000. Nelson was then placed at the Saint Marys Hospital, – one of the largest private hospitals in the nation – with its 1,265 beds and 55 operating rooms in Rochester. Saint Marys serves exclusively Mayo patients in need of hospitalization and uses only Mayo doctors.

    "I had the unique opportunity to work alongside an RN clinical coach and provided patient care in a team environment," says Nelson.

    "The floor I worked on was Domitilla 3D which is a general medicine and nephrology floor. We worked a combination of day and night 12-hour shifts throughout the summer. I also had the opportunity to meet with the director of the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA )program who told me what to expect and how to prepare to get accepted into a CRNA program. She also set up an observation for me so that I could follow a CRNA for a day."

    Nelson found himself living the dream.

    Matthew Nelson

    "Ever since seventh grade I knew I wanted to become a certified nurse anesthetist," he recalls. "I learned that Emporia State offered a nursing program so I decided to visit the school. I immediately liked the smaller size and feel of the school and knew I would get to know my teachers on a more personal level."

    And as a bonus, Emporia State University offered a scholarship and opportunity for the 6-foot-6 basketball player to continue participating in the game like he did at Seaman High School in Topeka and Allen County Community College in Iola, Kan., before transferring to Emporia State.

    Nelson called enrolling at Emporia State one of the best decisions he has made.

    "The nursing field is ever expanding and can provide you with so many different job opportunities," he adds. "Emporia State is a great place to learn because the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.

    "I feel that choosing Emporia State University for academics and athletics have prepared me for my chosen field and has helped me grow as a person with life experiences."

    Ready to graduate, pass boards, and get out in the so-called real world, Nelson feels qualified and prepared as he looks for a job. He is keeping his options open and has applications in at Mayo, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and is interested in hospitals in Kansas City and Topeka.