Lydia Mason earned her BSN from UMSL this May and has secured a job working in the emergency department at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. (Photo by Myra Lopez)

When Lydia Mason earned her nursing degree in May from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, she not only capped off her educational career, but added to her family legacy.

Mason is the fifth person in her family to receive a UMSL degree. In total, her family has nine degrees from UMSL.

“It is a huge relief not to have to worry about tests, papers, clinicals and other homework,” she said.

Mason, who attended Bishop DuBourg High School and lives in University City, Mo., has secured a job working in the emergency department at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she already had her foot in the door. For more than a year, she’s been working as a student nurse technician on their thoracic surgical unit. She’s responsible for taking patient’s vitals and drawing their blood.

But Mason credits the education she received in the College of Nursing for making her work ready and able to handle real-world nursing responsibilities.

“I had always heard wonderful things about UMSL’s nursing program and was thrilled when I found out I had been accepted. From day one they start teaching you how to think like a nurse,” she said. “The clinical experiences were very diverse in that I got to see how hospitals in different areas looked and functioned. The sites we used were located all over the city and county.”

In earning her BSN from UMSL, Mason follows in the footsteps of other family members who are also Tritons. Her father earned a doctorate in mathematics, her sister has a bachelor’s degree in social work, one brother earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from UMSL and another brother earned his master’s degree in economics after attaining twin bachelor’s degree in accounting and business. Mason herself already holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies, having earned the degree in 2011.

The UMSL Experience

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez