Nepal and South Dakota: The path to a nursing degree begins with BHSU-Rapid City

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, August 1, 2018/Categories: Students, Students in the News, Alumni, College of Business and Natural Sciences, Community, 2018

Their stories are vastly different; their goal is the same: To become a nurse. Two emerging healthcare professionals share their path to the nursing profession with Black Hills State University-Rapid City.

Chheji Sherpa from Nepal
Chheji Sherpa arrived in the U.S. in 2016 to reunite with her fiancé, Ringin Sherpa. Ringin owns Himalayan Kitchen in Rapid City.

Soon after her arrival in South Dakota, Chheji began to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse by enrolling in classes at BHSU-RC.

“Since my childhood, I was always curious about the medical field when visiting the hospital with family members. I was inspired by the nurses and their care. I chose to prepare to be a nurse in the future,” said Chheji.

Being new to the U.S., Chheji asked her family about the best University to attend.

“They said BHSU is the best place to come to get the pre-requisites for nursing school,” said Chheji.

Chheji is enrolled in an applied health sciences degree program at BHSU-RC. She is taking all the classes needed for admittance into the South Dakota State University nursing program.

As a native Nepali speaker, Chheji also speaks Hindi and English, although they are not her first languages. She says her speech teacher was one of her favorite professors at BHSU-RC.

“Thanks to that class I am now confident to be in front of people. She taught me a lot about how to present my speech,” says Chheji.

In her nursing career, Chheji hopes to work in obstetrics. She said she appreciates the affordability of BHSU-RC and the accessibility of her advisors and tutors.

McKayla Stratmeyer from Rapid City
McKayla Stratmeyer grew up in Rapid City and started taking college courses for credit while still in high school. She initially enrolled at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology her junior year of high school, but when her career goal changed from engineering to healthcare, she looked to BHSU.

“It was the BHSU associate’s in applied health sciences degree option that I liked,” said McKayla.

Since graduating with her degree from BHSU, McKayla is ready for the nursing program through the University of South Dakota.
She’ll earn her nursing degree in two years thanks to the preparation she received at BHSU-RC.

“My goal is to become a traveling nurse so I can help people and see all the states. With travel nursing its flexible, I can explore the different specialties in nursing,” said McKayla.

About BHSU-Rapid City
The associate degree in applied health sciences is the perfect fit for students working toward careers in healthcare including registered nurses, medical technologists, and other high demand health professionals.

BHSU has a long history of preparing students for admission into nursing programs. The associate degree in applied health sciences offers students all the general education and core classes required for admission into nursing programs at South Dakota State University and The University of South Dakota, as well as for other bachelor degree-level healthcare programs.

The entire program is available on campus in Spearfish and at BHSU-Rapid City. Graduates with the two-year associate degree may also choose to continue at BHSU and complete a bachelor’s degree program in biology, exercise science, or other related fields.

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