Micah Whitnell ('19)
Nurse, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital
Through Union’s nursing program, Micah Whitnell learned how to infuse God’s love into his everyday care of patients at West Tennessee Healthcare.
Whitnell, 22, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Union in May 2019. Born and raised in Jackson, he now works at the very hospital where he was born, Jackson-Madison County General. Currently, Whitnell is completing his three-month residency, working on different floors all over the hospital and getting additional training. He has received his nursing licensure, so once he completes his residency he will choose a floor on which to work permanently, such as respiratory, cardiac, pediatrics, emergency or surgery, etc.
Whitnell said the nursing professors and instructors at Union did a “tremendous job” of preparing him and his fellow students through the curriculum, training, labs, clinical hours and simulation lab.
“We all feel prepared and ready to go,” he said. “It’s just really hard to explain how much time and effort, how much love they put into us.”
Whitnell said the care of his professors has even extended beyond graduation. He stays in touch with several of his instructors, and he said he knows he can still talk to them anytime.
“It’s just a unique experience at Union,” Whitnell said. “I can truly say that the teachers make the difference. They care so much, and that care transitions into their teaching … They do an exceptional job.”
His time spent in the sim labs with Renee Anderson, assistant professor of nursing and director for simulation and interprofessional development, transformed Whitnell’s views on patient care. He said Anderson puts the students in very real, stressful situations where they must act quickly. At the end of each sim lab, students fill out a survey.
“One of the questions is, ‘How do you feel that you have displayed Christ’s love to the patient?’” Whitnell said. “I don’t think you’re going to find that anywhere else than at Union. The [professors] — through their love and their light that they show — it shines onto us, and it helps us to give it back to the patients.”
After gaining some years of hands-on experience in the hospital as a nurse, Whitnell hopes to one day become a nurse practitioner. He thinks that his time at Union equipped him well for his current role as a registered nurse. To prospective and incoming nursing students at Union, Whitnell gave this encouragement: “It’s challenging, but it’s worth it.”