Do You Have What it Takes to be a Nurse?


Bonnie Groeneveld is pictured with medium length blonde hair and a black and white shirt.

Bonnie Groeneveld, born and raised in Kingsford, MI, accredits Bay College (Bay) for her success in the nursing profession.  Groeneveld graduated from Kingsford High School in 2004 and attended Grand Valley State University for pre-law.  After deciding she did not want to go into law, she transferred to Bay College and entered the Radiation Therapy program through Ferris State University.  Through her clinicals, she decided to pursue becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) and found her niche in the Respiratory Therapy program at Bay.  Jumping right into the program, she obtained a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) title and worked at Bellin Clinic while continuing to pursue her RN Degree. 

Groeneveld claims her biggest regret was not coming to Bay right off the bat, "The bigger schools can't even come near to the cost savings through Bay."  At Bay, Groeneveld felt more comfortable.  She had relationships with her instructors and they knew and cared about her.  Groeneveld said, "My nursing instructors shared real stories about the good and bad days they experienced as nurses, and that helped to prepare me and others for the realities of the career."  The one-on-one attention that Groeneveld received allowed her to start her career with more expertise and confidence in her skills than other students.

 Her current boss has said, "If you know anyone that went to school with you at Bay, please give them my name. I would love to hire them."

 Groeneveld's advice to high school students is, "Go to Bay for at least a year to get your general studies done and then make the decision on what's next.  There are so many opportunities you will get from Bay that you won't get from a bigger University.  Don't put yourself in a position to be paying loans your whole life."

After years of hard work and experience Groeneveld has reflected on her career path, "When you're a nurse it's not about you.  If it is, then you're in it for the wrong reasons.  Be prepared to skip lunch and be so busy you forget you even had to go to the bathroom.  It's about the patient.  You are here for the patient and that is your priority."  Although becoming a nurse can be done in a relatively short time frame, the career and education is a challenge and not for all personalities. Nursing school is a huge commitment that takes determination and perseverance.  A study done by The International Journal of Innovative Research and Advanced Studies compared the stress levels of various professional students and found that nursing students experience higher levels of stress than medical, social work and pharmacy students.  Bay offers free counseling, free tutoring and supplemental instruction to help students overcome these obstacles and be successful in their program.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nursing is 15% which is much greater than most occupations.

Groeneveld currently lives in Madison, WI and works at Unity Point Health – Meriter McKee Clinic as a Lead Registered Nurse.  She has worked at the McKee Clinic for 10 years, and is the recipient of the National DAISY Award for extraordinary nurses. Groeneveld says, "Being a nurse puts things into perspective.  This job invites you into people's most vulnerable and important moments: birth, sickness, death.  This is a privilege."

Written by Camie Clark