Make It Millikin: Karlie Lading
President of Alpha Tau Delta
A family moment leads to a career decision for Millikin nursing major
On Christmas Day in 2014, Karlie Lading found herself at St. Louis Children's Hospital due to a family emergency involving her cousin, Bryce. After battling illness for some time, Bryce went into septic shock and was fighting for his life. Lading was in the middle of one of the toughest moments of her life, however in the midst of the chaos, she found a sense of passion and reason that led her to wanting to become a nurse.
Lading, a senior from Mattoon, Ill., transferred to Millikin University as a sophomore after one year at junior college. She and her older sister, Haylie, who graduated from Millikin last May with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Pre-Physical Therapy, transferred at the same time. Both found their new home at Millikin. With Haylie graduating last spring and Karlie set to graduate this May, the Lading sisters will be the only ones in their family to receive a bachelor's degree.
In her three years at Millikin, Karlie has thrived in more ways than one, but when she tried to get involved at Millikin right away she was hesitant at first. "Before I started Millikin's Nursing program I was a follower," Lading said. "I would be a part of multiple groups, but I never took initiative to be a leader."
Professor Gina Canny, an instructor of nursing at Millikin, provided the motivation that Lading needed when Canny first suggested to her to become a class representative of the Student Involvement Achievement Committee. From there Lading blossomed by becoming the president of Millikin's chapter of the National Student Nurses' Association (NSNA) and president of the Alpha Tau Delta nursing fraternity.
"It's crazy to me how I can be this involved at one school," Lading said. "I have been pushed to be my best in more areas than one."
Lading also credits her success in the classroom to Professor John Blakeman, instructor of nursing. Blakeman provides Lading much encouragement with his teachings as "he goes above and beyond for his students, making sure that we not only know the material but can apply it as well. It is one thing to read material in a textbook, but to physically do it is something totally different," said Lading.
Millikin's School of Nursing provides opportunities for students to build self-confidence and prepare for professional nursing practice through simulations. Students are able to think through scenarios utilizing an iStan simulator, a high-tech mannequin used for health care instruction and training situations. Students also engage in clinical experiences with local area hospitals and agencies where they explore specialty units, develop mentor relationships with experienced nurses and develop a professional network.
Lading says that "without clinicals, I don't think I would fully understand all the material that I have learned. Being assigned patients and having responsibility over them is such a real experience."
Lading has loved her three years at Millikin and is excited for the next step. "I don't think there's a better school that would have prepared me to become a registered nurse (RN) as Millikin has," Lading said. "Millikin has made me the best version of a RN that I could possibly be."
After graduation, Lading will be working for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis as a RN on the acute care medical floor this July. This is more than just a job opportunity for her, but rather she is going to work for a hospital affiliated with the same place that gave her the passion for wanting to become a nurse – St. Louis Children's Hospital, a hospital that saved her cousin Bryce's life back on that Christmas Day in 2014.