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From total chaos to better health

Nursing student focuses on mental health field

On a crisp March afternoon, our Delta College photographer caught up with Kerstin Staffne, 33, at Covenant HealthCare practicing hands-on training in the Labor, Delivery and Recovery Unit.

Nursing students with instructor

Catching Staffne isn’t easy. She’s currently a full-time corrections officer in Bay County, and a full-time student in the clinical portion of her Delta College nursing program. She expects to graduate in April 2023.

“It’s a stressful time and I don’t have a social life, but because I spend so much time with them, the nursing faculty and students have become my family,” said Staffne. 

Staffne loves what she’s doing because she has always wanted to work in the health field. Not even a pandemic could deter her.

“Since I was little, I wanted to be in healthcare and I even worked for 11 years as a medical assistant in a private practice. I always talked about going back to school and finally the doctor and my peers held an ‘intervention’ and said I had to return to college. I did; it just took me an extra 20 years,” said Staffne.

Clinicals are designed to provide practical, hands-on experience caring for patients in different healthcare settings, from maternity and delivery – Staffne’s current setting – to mental health.

“During clinicals you rotate to different areas of the hospital,” she said. “I really like it because I love meeting and networking with new people. The other good thing is that it helps you figure out what you want to do, or don’t want to do, when you graduate.”

Staffne said like many nursing students, she thought she’d want to work with infants, but she’s found mental health to be more intriguing. 

“Maybe it’s because I work in a correctional facility now, but I really want to help people go from total chaos to better health,” she said. “You have to build trust, but over time, you can see a complete transformation. That’s so rewarding.”

Staffne is grateful to Delta College and its nursing faculty for helping fulfill her career dream.

“I’ve been to so many schools and I can honestly tell you, Delta is more hands-on in the classroom and outside it,” Staffne added. “They don’t just tell you there are resources. They are very involved in connecting you to them. They want you to succeed.” 

About Delta’s Nursing Programs

Nursing has been a program at Delta College since 1965. Since that time, the education and technology has changed, but the high quality of the graduates hasn’t. Last year, 92 percent of RN candidates passed the licensing exam, significantly higher than state and national averages.

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