Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Hometown: Prescott Valley, Arizona
High School and/or Previous Aacademic Institution: Bradshaw Mountain High School and State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY)
Nathan Gray is a U.S. Army veteran pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Murray State University, looking to provide for his family and to pursue a career helping others. This is his story.
Activities and Organizations
Kentucky Association of Nursing Students
How do you define success?
To define success, you must ask yourself what is most important in your life. What is it that drives you to get up in the morning? What gives you that rewarding sense of accomplishment and how can you use that to make the most of your life? I’ve always viewed success as something obtainable through your own hard work. Success is earned, never awarded.
Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?
My wife and two children help motivate me every day to accomplish my goals and prioritize what is most important in life.
What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?
I’ve held an interest in the medical field as long as I can remember. I spent my younger years in the U.S. Army and had the amazing opportunity to care for soldiers before, during and after surgery. It was rewarding to provide care for our armed forces in a way that made them feel safe in their most vulnerable state. It was then that I decided to become a nurse.
Why did you select Murray State?
I had been honorably discharged from the U.S. Army and was attending SUNY Oswego in a pre-med program when my wife’s father was being moved to his new duty station at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I wanted to keep our families close and decided to change my major and search for schools of nursing near Fort Campbell.
For me, medicine is more than treating an illness; it is providing care for the patient and their wellbeing. I realized the nursing field was going to be better suited to my personal feelings about medicine and chose Murray State for its high rating for veterans and small-town location.
Who is one of your favorite professors and why?
Dr. Tonia Mailow is one of my favorite professors because no matter the issue, she always tries to help her students find a path to achieve their goals. Dr. Mailow cares for much more than her students’ academics. She truly wants to see their accomplishments and success in all aspects of her students’ lives.
What is one of your favorite Murray State traditions/experiences?
I am looking forward to the experience of traveling with my peers to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to care for and learn from patients.
What is something you’ve accomplished at Murray State that you’re most proud of and why are you proud of it?
I am most proud of being accepted into the nursing program. For me, this was a goal that meant I was one step closer to having a successful career that not only supports my family but is both enjoyable and rewarding.
What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?
Since my time in the Army, I have experienced a few universities. Murray State has a wonderful uniqueness of having a small town, close-knit family feeling campus that I have not experienced elsewhere.
What advice would you give to incoming students?
For traditional students, I would push to experience everything possible and develop relationships that will prove valuable in coming years. I would advise non-traditional students to take time to get to know their professors. Our professors provide traditional and non-traditional students alike with invaluable information and experiences.
What do you plan to do after graduation?
I look forward to experiencing and learning all I can in the nursing field while my wife and I raise our beautiful children and enjoy our lives together.