Top hospital, top choice: New nursing grad looks forward to working at Barnes-Jewish

Michelle Arrington, UMSL

Michelle Arrington attended the UMSL College of Nursing’s pinning ceremony on Dec 14. The celebratory event is an UMSL tradition, where outstanding students are recognized for their special achievements, and the entire cohort celebrates the students’ completion of the nursing program. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Arrington)

“Nurse Michelle, coming to a hospital near you,” reads Michelle Arrington’s Instagram post from Dec. 13.

These words, accompanied by an image of a smiling Arrington fully adorned in graduation robe, honors tassels and sorority stole, aim to share some joyful news – and some special weekend plans.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis senior, along with 49 other members of her College of Nursing cohort, will officially graduate during the winter commencement exercises being held on Dec. 17.

Michelle Arrington

(Click on the image to see Michelle Arrington’s Instagram post.)

The short journey across the Mark Twain Building auditorium stage will signify a much longer one for Arrington, who has been taking classes at UMSL for about 3 1/2 years – since before she was officially enrolled in the bachelor of science in nursing program that’s become her constant focus.

She’ll have just about three weeks to bask in the hard-won glory.

Arrington has already landed a post-graduation job at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she has plans to bring the same bright energy that fills her Instagram photo to her new role as a nurse on the trauma floor.

She recently told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Ashley Jost that the position just might have been a bit easier to get thanks to the perks of graduating in December rather than May. But she’s also certain the wealth of professional opportunities her program offered have played a big role.

“Those clinical experiences – at a variety of St. Louis hospitals – helped lead me to student nurse internships and eventually to my job,” Arrington says. “Barnes was my top hospital, and I was very fortunate to have gotten the job midway through my final semester. It was a great relief to already have a job set up.”

Other fortunes that have come thanks to UMSL include the incredible support that Arrington says she was constantly shown from nursing faculty, as well as the friendships and professional skills she has been able to develop through campus organizations.

“I was a member of the Greek honor society called Order of Omega, and I was involved in a sorority on campus called Zeta Tau Alpha,” she says. “I learned great leadership skills while holding executive offices and widening my networking.”

Arrington is adamant that all of these positive experiences make one thing clear about her long-ago decision to choose UMSL nursing: The journey hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been right.

“UMSL has been my home,” she says. “Looking back, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I have nothing but positive words for the university.”

The UMSL Experience

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