Justin Mann admits that as a high school senior he was undecided what he wanted to do with his life. A friend who was pursuing a degree in nursing suggested he check into the field.
“I made the decision to choose this career, not knowing that as soon as I got started, I would absolutely marvel at how much I enjoyed the field,” Mann admitted.
The Wanatah resident will earn his bachelor’s degree in nursing during the Purdue University Northwest commencement ceremony Friday (12/9—5 p.m.) in the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium of the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the Westville Campus.
Mann’s immediate future will have little relaxation time. After graduation, he will take the Board of Nursing certification exam to become a registered nurse, which will qualify him to accept a job offer he has received from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The job is in the Progressive Care Unit, specializing in heart failure and cardiac valve structure.
“I am very blessed to have this opportunity and to start a new adventure in my life,” Mann said.
“Nurses are truly servant leaders; this is my favorite aspect of the profession. When I look at a nurse’s responsibilities and what they go through in order to optimally care for their patients, it is a blessing to be a part of it.”
He recalled that when he enrolled in the nursing program at PNW’s Westville Campus he wanted the best education possible. Now that he is graduating, he is confident that he has gained that.
“I have a thirst for learning all aspects of nursing and how to best care for my patients that continues to grow,” he said. “The PNW faculty are dedicated to making sure each student is successful and for that, I am truly grateful.”
Nursing is a multi-faceted profession
In a Community Health Nursing class, in which students surveyed communities in La Porte County to assess community strengths and needs, he learned that nursing is a multi-faceted profession. With this data, he and his classmates created a substance abuse prevention program for late elementary and middle school students.
“This project helped open my eyes to communities in the area and the needs of the people there,” Mann said. “As a student, I traveled to Indianapolis and other cities in Indiana and into Chicago. I had a tremendous learning experience.”
On campus Mann was elected president of the Westville Campus Student Association for Nursing Development (S.T.A.N.D.) Nursing Club and was a member of the campus College of Nursing’s Student Affairs Committee.
The benefits of a support network
He has a tremendous support network in his fellow students. “My favorite student memories include our study sessions,” he said. “We made studying fun as we tackled each test, quiz, assignment and project. Sometimes we’d get together to just relax. I always tried to be a listening and helpful classmate. I will miss them when I move.”
Off campus he unwinds with his parents, grandparents and friends, enjoying Chicago Cubs baseball games, attending church and watching movies. He credits his friends and family with being “extremely patient and helpful” and praised the nursing faculty for “assuring me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two campuses in Hammond and Westville in Northwest Indiana. The university was formed by the unification in early 2016 of the former Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central. With more than 15,000 students and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit www.pnw.edu.