Scholarship Helps Bryn Nelson “Learn the Healer’s Art”
Bryn Nelson came to BYU with one goal in mind: to become a nurse and help people through the healing process. BYU was always on her radar because her parents attended, and she had many field trips and sporting events on campus.
She says that as she was growing up in Utah Valley, not only was BYU close to home, but it also centered on her values.
Her passion for nursing started out as a fascination with the human body. “It’s so amazing,” she says. “It’s just the coolest thing, really.”
However, her goal took on a new meaning when her father died in a tragic accident at work from carbon monoxide poisoning during her senior year of high school.
Bryn realized through her own experience grieving for her father that when people are in the hospital, they are often dealing with many kinds of healing at once—physical, emotional, and even spiritual.
She saw this firsthand during a clinical experience at a local children’s hospital. She helped treat a baby that was very sick, but Bryn says that the whole family needed support—especially the mother.
“I needed to help her gain the confidence to take care of her child under these very difficult circumstances. For me, this was a very spiritual experience to help the whole family.”
The gospel is family centered, Bryn says, and healing is a family affair too. Before she goes to class or to clinical training, or to the hospital, she says a prayer.
“It centers my day,” she says. “It gives me clear direction, plus the Spirit can talk to me more when I pray. God knows His children better than I do.”
After her father’s death her mom did her best to raise four children on a teacher’s salary. With one child on a mission and another in college, Bryn says her mother just kept moving forward with faith. “She is the best example of faith I have ever seen. I want to be like her.”
The scholarship she received was critical to her education. She remembers sitting on the couch with her husband, Logan, a mechanical engineering major at BYU, when she got an email about her scholarship.
“I just started crying. I don’t know, honestly, what I would be doing without that scholarship. I hope donors know how much these scholarships mean to us.”
Bryn says she takes the College of Nursing motto about “learning the Healer’s art” very seriously, especially now that she is running 12-hour shifts as a student nurse.
“BYU has provided me with many opportunities to excel in learning, but the most important part of my education to me is the hands-on experiences that I am given.
“This past semester I had my clinical experiences at Huntsman Cancer Institute. There I was able to care for many people in some of their most vulnerable and hurting states as they received transplants, surgeries, and chemotherapy to rid them of their cancer. This is not an easy journey for anyone to undergo. Each day at clinical I found that the most important thing I could do for these aching individuals was provide excellent care and comfort for them.
“One morning as I sat by the bedside and held the hand of an older lady who was crying and terrified of what was to come, a feeling of peace washed over me that can’t be described—a feeling that told me that I was doing what the Savior would do if He were on this Earth.
“I am incredibly grateful for that moment and for all the other times I have felt the difference I can make in another’s life. The BYU College of Nursing has allowed me to realize my potential, and it is the reason I can have a life-changing experience with others.”