A Passion for Building Relationships   

Sarah Mereness embarked upon her senior year of high school with plans to pursue a college degree in early childhood education. As someone who loves being around children, this career path felt natural. But it was in her last year of high school that Sarah discovered a different passion. She took Anatomy & Physiology during her junior year and later assisted as the senior aide in the same class. Sarah fell in love with the science of the human body and credits, Mrs. Larsen, her influential Anatomy & Physiology teacher, as the driving force in selecting a career in nursing. 

Building Relationships: in the Nursing Program

Sarah chose Marian University for the nursing program which started more than 50 years ago and has grown into one of the top schools in Wisconsin. Being assigned to a small cohort at the beginning of their undergraduate degree work, nursing students remain together throughout the academic journey to graduation. Sarah appreciates the “we’re in this together” feeling and teamwork approach that comes with being part of her cohort. In addition to building relationships – some of which have grown into friendships – she values the built-in accountability, being able to collaborate in learning, and growing together in skills and knowledge.

“While the nursing program is not easy, the online resources, simulations, clinicals, peers and professors make it possible to succeed,” Sarah asserts. With exceptional professors that are invested in the success of students, Sarah expresses gratitude for how they make time to speak with her about classwork, future goals, and even emotional struggles. She attributes the real-world experience they bring to their classrooms and how it helps affirm and grow her passion. One in particular, Professor Karen Roberts, has been Sarah’s teacher, clinical advisor, nursing advisor, and mentor. Making a significant impact, Professor Roberts has helped grow Sarah’s clinical skills and develop strong communication skills, including the importance of listening. With admiration and appreciation, Sarah aspires to become the nurse she’s experienced in Professor Roberts.

Building Relationships: at her Job

As a Patient Care Technician (PCT) at SSM Health’s Hemodialysis Center in Fond du Lac, Sarah thrives on building relationships with her patients. She attributes her learning environment for helping develop the clinical and communication skills required to be successful in her field work. Sarah’s patients depend on her to help them transition off their dialysis treatment, but as a bonus they also get a dose of her positive energy and enthusiasm. Making a difference – the very foundation of a nursing career – is what brings Sarah the greatest joy. 

Building Relationships: on Campus

If you’ve been on campus in the past few years, odds are high that you have crossed paths with Sarah. She played tennis her first two years, has worked at the Marian One Stop since her freshman year, and is involved in multiple clubs including serving as the board secretary for MUSNA (Marian University Student Nursing Association). She enjoys attending sporting events at Marian, making new friends, and volunteering her time to help tutor other students. And if you ever thought you were seeing double, you might have been seeing Sarah’s twin sister, Rachel! 

Now in her senior year, Sarah’s Senior Capstone project is in the Operating Room. After witnessing several surgeries during her medical/surgical clinics, Sarah found herself awestruck by the experience of seeing the human body from its internal perspective and is compelled to witness firsthand, the innovative advancements in medical technology. With plans to graduate this May, Sarah continues to strive for success each day to meet her future goals – the first of which is to begin her nursing career as a surgical nurse. Confident to be on a career path that fits her passion for the medical field and patient care, Sarah is grateful for the hands-on learning and personalized support she’s received as a student at Marian University. 

To learn more about Marian’s Nursing programs, visit our website.