Noelle Laudon

(Photo by August Jennewein)

Noelle Laudon was a senior ensconced at the University of Missouri–Columbia when she had a life-changing revelation. She was about to embark on the wrong career path. So she shifted gears and set her sights on her true calling – nursing.

“I just realized that business wasn’t what I wanted to do. I didn’t want some desk job crunching numbers. I’m more of a people person,” she says.

After graduating in 2010 with a business marketing degree she started researching nursing programs in the state. She was interested in accelerated programs, which are tailored for people with a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing.

“I wanted to get it done quickly,” she says. “I had already done the college thing; I just really wanted to dedicate all my time to getting this nursing degree and doing it so I could start my career. The University of Missouri–St. Louis was the perfect choice because it’s very affordable compared to other schools.”

She also was attracted to UMSL’s College of Nursing because of the 15-month timeline for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. For her, it was not too long but not too short.

“A lot of the other accelerated programs are 12 months. And I thought that would be a little too fast paced,” she says.

In August 2013, Laudon graduated magna cum laude with a BSN. That September, she started her job as a registered nurse on the mother and infants floor at Mercy Hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. She takes care of mothers and babies post-delivery.

“I just love it,” she says.

Laudon credits UMSL and the nursing faculty that mentored her with providing a solid educational foundation and giving her the confidence to pursue her true passion.

“I really didn’t know much at all about health care, and I was coming from a business background. I feel like I learned so much throughout the program. The teachers were excellent and really involved, and they cared about how we were doing. They were always available off hours if you needed help,” she says.

While change can be a scary prospect, for Laudon it was the right thing to do.

“I would definitely say I’m happy with the path I chose. I just started my nursing career, but I have so many different pathways within the nursing field that I can explore.”

This story was originally published in the spring 2014 issue of UMSL Magazine.

The UMSL Experience

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez