A childhood determination for academic achievement led Lydia Trabel '25 to pursue her passion for helping others by becoming a nurse.

Lydia Trabel Climb Higher

When she was young, schoolwork and grades were on the bottom of Lydia's priority list. This changed at the end of second grade, when Lydia's school passed out medals to the kids that had made honor roll. Seeing the celebration of the kids who had earned these medals caught Lydia's attention.

"I wanted to be a part of the joy and happiness they had from their hard work paying off," she recalls. "That day, I promised myself I was going to put schoolwork and grades at the top of my priority list because I never wanted to feel like I did not do good enough or try hard enough in school."

Ever since, Lydia has worked hard in school, striving to put her best effort into her classes. Her hard work paid off, as she made the honor roll every year after that through to her senior year of high school.

Now, as a junior in the MSJ nursing program, Lydia sees her hard work paying off as she gains experience in her clinicals and looks to her future as a nurse.

Nursing a Passion for Helping Others

From a young age, Lydia knew that nursing was an option for her career path, as her mom used to work as a nurse. However, Lydia herself became inspired to pursue nursing in high school.

This inspiration came when she participated in her school's Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) club, a group dedicated to the development of leadership skills and community service. Through this club, Lydia found her passion for service to others.

"We would decorate cookies and carve pumpkins with those at a local retirement home, volunteer at the Ronald McDonald house, hold a special needs dance, and do various other activities in the community," she remembers. "I loved giving back to these people and seeing the impact we had, which inspired me to be a nurse. As a nurse, I will be able to take care of people during a vulnerable time and hopefully make a difference in their life."

A Perfect Prescription for Success: The Mount’s Nursing Program

 Once she found her passion for helping others, her motivation focused even more on keeping her grades up to get into a nursing program that would take her where she needed to go.

Lydia's search for a nursing program led her to visit the Mount, where she took a tour and fell in love with the campus and the welcoming community. She was also able to see the nursing skill rooms and learn about the MSJ nursing program. 

"I remember learning about the different mannequins we would practice on and simulations I would go through throughout the program, and it all seemed so exciting, and I was eager to learn all about it," Lydia says.

Her visit to campus and introduction to the nursing program made her decision to come to the Mount easy, as she knew she had found the school that would help her reach her goal of becoming a great nurse.

"Now I am not only going to school to be a nurse for myself, but I am also going because I want to help other people," she reflects. "I want to be there to help others when they deal with illness and are not at a great point in their life. I want to be there to take care of them and be someone they can rely on to help them get back to their normal life or make it as normal as possible."

Lydia has continued to work hard in college, with the goal of not only making the Dean's list, but continuing on her nursing journey. She has gotten to see her work coming to fruition, especially during her sophomore year when she went through her white coat ceremony. This ceremony celebrates the work these students have achieved thus far and symbolizes the beginning of clinical education in the nursing program.

Lydia recalls her anticipation for what the white coat ceremony meant for her:

"I remember being nervous to start clinical, but also excited to go to hospitals and be part of the care team for patients,” she says. “We can take what we learn in class and use those skills and knowledge during clinical. As a junior now, I can do more skills and have more freedom during clinical, which is great. The white coat ceremony feels like it was so long ago, but it was the start of a new chapter in my education."

An Advocate for Patient Care

As she works closer and closer to her goal of becoming a nurse, Lydia reflects back on her experience in the MSJ nursing program.

"The nursing program has taught me to always treat people respectfully without judgement, always see patients as people and understand that they deserve someone to help them and advocate for their needs, how to work with others, and how to be the best I can be for my patients. I know there is much more I need to learn during the rest of my time at the Mount from the textbooks and from experiences in clinical and simulations, but I also recognize that as a nurse I will be learning each day on the job. I look forward to always learning something new. I think the phrase, ‘You learn something new every day’ is very fitting for a career as a nurse."

When asked what her advice would be for someone looking to start their own journey to becoming a nurse, Lydia's hard working attitude continues to shine through:

"My advice would be to understand that this program is challenging, but if you work hard and ask for help when needed, you can be successful. I take the semester one day at a time and focus on what needs to be done right away. I try to plan my assignments out each week so that I stay ahead. It will get hard, but you must keep pushing. I always remind myself that everything happens for a reason. If I receive a score on an exam or a grade that is not where I want it to be, I use that as motivation for my next exam."

Lydia plans to continue this attitude of learning throughout the rest of her clinical experience and carry it into the beginning of her nursing career.  "There are many different areas I am interested in," she explains, "including working in an emergency room, operating room, cardiac floor, psychiatric floor, or even with the pediatric population."

Lydia hopes to learn more about each as she receives more experience through her clinicals, and as she enters the nursing workforce after graduation.


Interested in Nursing?

The direct admission Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed to prepare students as professional nurses who integrate the liberal arts and sciences with the knowledge and skills that are essential for patient-centered nursing practice. Graduates are caring, ethical, healthcare providers who support the dignity of others and promote holistic, evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes.

Nursing majors move through a rich variety of classes, labs, and off-campus clinical experiences to become effective patient advocates and leaders in a variety of settings. The outstanding reputation of the direct admission Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the Mount is built upon 100 years of experience.

Visit our Nursing Program Page here to learn more!