Ariana Mohr graduated from Bellin College in October 2019. Her journey to becoming a nurse, however, took her from Texas to Arkansas to Wisconsin and, most recently, back to Texas – where she landed a coveted position in a familiar place.
As a high school student, Mohr began volunteering her time at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. There, she met a child life specialist and determined that field was her passion. In preparation to become a child life specialist, Mohr attended the University of Arkansas and obtained a degree in family life sciences with a focus on child development.
“My career plans started to shift when I became a ‘baby buddy’ at Cook Children’s Medical Center,” said Mohr. “Baby buddies hold, rock and feed NICU babies. I quickly discovered I really enjoyed the hands-on aspect of that role and decided that I would pursue nursing instead of child life.”
After graduating from the University of Arkansas, Mohr applied for the Bellin College 15-month nursing program, was accepted and started classes at Bellin College in June 2018. Her dad, an engineer and native of Wisconsin, and her mom, a teacher, decided to leave Texas and retire in the Green Bay area in May 2017. So, oddly enough, the Mohrs were all in Green Bay. After many months of studying, Ariana graduated from Bellin College with her BSN in October 2019. Fun family fact: Both Ariana and her sister, Tatiana, were adopted from Russia into the Mohr family as toddlers.
Attaining her new role in Texas was hard-fought. Cook Children’s Medical Center doesn’t hire new graduates. However, nurses can enter as a nurse resident. This is a yearlong program that includes simulations, classes, discussions, further pediatric certification and, finally, an offer for a permanent position.
To apply, she participated in an information session, completed an initial application and resume, gathered two letters of recommendation and completed five essay responses. Then, she waited for a call. Of the more than 800 applicants, only 250 were offered interviews and Ariana was one of them. Her interview was done via Skype, since she was still living in Wisconsin, and consisted of a one-hour panel interview.
“During the first part of the interview, the panel asked me questions about clinical experience, preferences and scenarios, and the second half was a case study,” said Mohr. “The panel gave me a scenario and asked me to talk through my thought process, asked how I would approach the situation, verbalize a head-to-toe assessment, obtain a health history from the patient’s mother and anticipate doctor’s orders. From there, they furthered the scenario and asked me to verbalize how I would handle the new events and anticipate new doctor’s orders.”
The panel told Ariana she would hear back within 10 days and one day, at 9 a.m., her phone rang. Cook Children’s Medical Center had one more interview question: Would you like to work for us? Of course, her answer was yes!
“I was well prepared for the case study because of my simulation, health assessment, pediatrics and public health courses,” said Mohr. “I had wonderful instructors like Sue Poppele, Lynn Murphy, Kathie DeMuth and Megan Liebzeit to thank for that.”
Mohr started her nurse residency on Feb. 3. In the future, she would like to become more involved in leadership, hospital policy, or become a charge nurse or nurse manager. She may also continue her education by obtaining a master’s degree.
Ariana credits Bellin College with having the unique ability to help students prepare for their careers before they even graduate and teaching them how to apply the knowledge and skills attained at Bellin College to real-world scenarios.
Her advice to current nursing students: “Don’t close yourself off to one route or possibility,” said Mohr. “Your passion may change as you interact with more people and gain more experience, so be open-minded.”