Study Abroad helps nursing graduate see new aspects of health care

Graham’s Hurst looks forward to career in nursing

Study Abroad helps nursing graduate see new aspects of health care

A high school program that allowed Graham High School students to obtain a Certified Nursing Assistant license set Abigail Hurst on her educational path.

Her choice was solidified when she entered the Wilson School of Nursing at Midwestern State University. And Hurst graduated Dec. 16 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“My high school set me up for nursing,” Hurst said. “However, I wasn't 100% sold until I started the nursing program at MSU Texas. Once my skills, knowledge, and confidence grew, I fell in love with nursing.”

In high school, students learned medical terms, anatomy, nutrition, patient care, and had a chance to shadow nurses at a local hospital. They were CPR certified and learned all the skills and information necessary to pass the CNA exam.

Hurst became a nursing major with a minor in French? That might seem unusual to some, but it made sense to her. Associate Professor of French Eric Lynch had encouraged her during her French studies. Hurst was a Redwine Scholar, and the program requires participation in Study Abroad. She was interested in the France trip, but her original plans were delayed by Covid cancellation. In 2021, she did get the opportunity to study in France. This past summer, Hurst went to London with the nursing program. She learned about community health, and by touring a hospital, she saw firsthand the differences and similarities between health care in England and the United States. “Over this last year, I’ve gained so much confidence,” Hurst said. “I’m not an outgoing person so the Study Abroad experience helped me to get out of myself.”

Abigail Hurst in cap and gown

As an extra project at MSU Texas, Hurst helped Assistant Professor of Nursing Sandra Groth by creating a flyer about toddler milestones. She joined Gamma Phi Beta sorority and the nursing fraternity Sigma Theta Tau. For the past year, she has worked as a student assistant in the Disability Support Services office at MSU Texas.

Hurst loves the flexibility and diversity nursing offers. “You can work exclusively with pediatrics or the elderly; you can work in mental health, oncology, surgery, and you’re not limited to the hospital setting. You can work in a clinic, at a school, or in a home.”

Hurst’s mother, Morgan Ervin, is also an MSU Texas alumna who graduated in 2005.

Hurst has become passionate about women’s health, and she realized that she wanted to work in mother/baby nursing, which includes antepartum, labor & delivery, and postpartum. “I love taking care of and educating women and their families,” she said. “Nursing is such a rewarding profession, and I hope to continue to educate myself and become a Certified Nurse Midwife in the future.”