Twin sisters choose UMSL College of Nursing for reputation, familiarity

by | Oct 2, 2016

Meagan and Maureen Mohan believe that the UMSL College of Nursing is their best bet for future career preparation, and they're happy to rely on each other as they start their college journey.
Mohan sisters choose UMSL Nursing

Meagan (at left) and Maureen Mohan may be sticking together for their first semester at UMSL, where they’ve even planned their entire schedules to match, but they say they’re looking forward to meeting new people and getting involved in the campus community. (Photos by August Jennewein)

Spotting a familiar face on campus is a welcome experience for any new college student who is still adjusting to the transition from high school to higher ed.

But for University of Missouri–St. Louis freshmen Meagan and Maureen Mohan, such a comfort is a guarantee.

The twin sisters from Bridgeton, Missouri, have both chosen not only UMSL but the College of Nursing specifically as their new home for academic pursuits.

“We always said we would go to the same school,” Maureen said, noting that she and her sister have always been very close. With all the changes and challenges already occurring at this time in their lives, separating didn’t seem like a wise move.

That UMSL is their chosen school is perhaps not a huge surprise. The girls’ parents are both UMSL alumni, as is their aunt who is now a nurse in California. They graduated from nearby Incarnate Word Academy and spent time volunteering at the University Child Development Center while still in high school. Even the car wash where they’ve worked together for the past two years isn’t too far away.

“We’ve always been familiar with UMSL because of our families and where we grew up, and we’ve only ever heard positive things about it,” Meagan said.

Mohan sisters

The sisters, who say they chose UMSL in part because of the excellent scholarship opportunities, both received UMSL Bound and Multicultural Student Services scholarships in addition to others.

“But it also offered us the best scholarship package of all the schools we considered,” Maureen offered. “So the affordability was a huge factor, too.”

One more factor – perhaps the most important of all – was the excellent reputation of the nursing program that the girls are wholeheartedly committed to.

While many young college students are unsure about a major, or perhaps have an idea but not a definite direction, the Mohan sisters have “known for a very long time” that pediatric nursing is what they want to pursue.

This is partly due to a love and appreciation for all children, as well as that ability only kids have to be so honest and wonderfully present.

“Everything is so simple with kids,” Meagan noted. “And they’re funny.”

But the full truth is that the sisters’ unwavering certainty stems from the everlasting influence of one child in particular – another sister.

Meagan and Maureen aren’t only identical twins; they’re actually two of three triplets. Their fraternal sister, who they were also very close to, passed away several years ago after a childhood battle with meningitis that lead to many complications.

It’s their experiences with her – seeing their parents’ journey, witnessing the ways doctors and nurses supported their family, being a part of not only her care but also her moments of strength and laughter – that have fueled their passion.

“That’s our biggest drive,” Maureen explained. “She has encouraged us to do something that can help others. To see things from her perspective and have her as a part of us – she by all means has had the biggest impact on our lives.”

Their lives, as it turns out, are bustling and full at the moment. The twins were friendly and full of bright smiles as they talked about the biology and chemistry classes that are helping them dig deeper into the science that will underlie the care and compassion they one day hope to extend in their nursing careers.

Although they decided to continue living at home with parents they say have been “endlessly supportive,” they haven’t had any trouble getting involved on campus. They’ve already taken a few fitness classes at the Recreation and Wellness Center and identified the quiet floors of the Thomas Jefferson Library, as well as the shaded corners of The Quad, as favorite places to study.

They’re also already thinking about options for the future.

“We think we’d like to work at Children’s Hospital someday,” Meagan said as she spoke of a shadowing opportunity they had there last summer in the ICU, and of how the whole environment seemed full of people who love their jobs.

“We also might want to try travel nursing,” Maureen added, as she mentioned their aunt in Los Angeles whose footsteps they’d be following in.

When the sisters were asked what might keep them engaged in these goals a couple of years from now, once they’re further into their studies and their program gets rigorous, their answers came right back to the certainty their life experience has brought them.

“We know this is what we want,” Meagan offered. “ We know how impactful being a nurse can be; our passion for nursing is what’s really going to drive us to keep going.”

Maureen chimed in once more.

“Of course the support of having each other will help, too.”

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Jami Hirsch

Jami Hirsch

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