UMKC Nursing Student Has a Passion to Serve the Underserved

Tatyana Charles sought a second degree after finding her calling
Tatyana Charles stands confidently, smiling in blue scrubs in the hall at University Health

In her clinical rotations at University Health, nursing student Tatyana Charles (B.H.S. '21) gets to practice exactly what she set out to do when she decided to pursue a nursing career.

“I feel grateful that I'm able to take care of my patients in their most vulnerable state to make them smile and take care of their immediate needs,” Charles said.

As a Kansas City native, Charles always knew she wanted to help her hometown neighbors. When she first came to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, that looked a little different. Charles pursued a bachelor’s degree in health sciences with plans to pursue a career in health administration. She later learned that her passion lied elsewhere.

Tatyana Charles smiles at a patient inside a hospital room at University Health

“I soon realized that I loved patient interaction and patient engagement, so I then chose to pursue nursing,” Charles said.

She chose to remain at UMKC for her second degree because of the nursing program graduates’ high passage rate on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) exam. More than 98% of UMKC nursing students passed the board exam in 2022. Charles also felt confident that she would be supported because of the positive experience she had in the health sciences program.

Tatyana Charles and a nurse look at a computer screen, conversing at a nurse's station at University Health

Now Charles is working on post-surgical care rotation at University Health, an academic medical center dedicated to providing health care to the Kansas City community, both for those with insurance and without.

She plans to pursue a career as an emergency room nurse after graduation, and feels certain of her skills.

“I feel well prepared,” she said. “Our faculty teaches us what to expect and what abnormally can happen and what to do next.”

Tatyana Charles stands with two other nursing students discussing a simulation case and referring to a document

Working at a mission-driven hospital like University Health is the perfect fit for Charles, who not only wants to care for patients, but also wants to be an advocate for them and help them find ongoing resources to help them.

“I tell people all the time that I have a passion to serve the underserved,” Charles said. “I want to be able to give knowledge to the local resources here in Kansas City to help the lower economic population.”

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