Meet Aaron Blomberg, a native of Wisconsin, born and raised in the Town of Raymond (Racine County). Aaron is not your traditional undergraduate student. At the age of 28, Aaron has had quite an academic journey. His nursing trajectory didn’t start until after he obtained an undergraduate degree with a double major in criminal justice and computer science in December of 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Shortly thereafter, Aaron faced a number of health issues including gall bladder surgery and appendicitis in 2007. During this time, he felt the care provided by the nurses at the hospital was incredible. Aaron was extremely appreciative of the compassion he received by the nursing staff, stressing that the care from the nursing staff extended to his family as well “Not only did the nurses take great care of me, but also my parents.” This experience planted a seed for his quest to pursue a career in healthcare.
From January 2010 to May 2012, Aaron enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in biology while considering physician assistant and nursing as additional options. However, Aaron, felt the tug toward a career in nursing. In the fall of 2012, Aaron enrolled in the pre-nursing program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a second degree student. Aaron was admitted in the nursing program in spring of 2014 and is currently a senior. Aaron stated, “For me, the choice was nursing. I felt I had been already serving in this role in some fashion in my life, as helping and serving others is part of who I am, minus the title.”
Aaron has not only excelled in academics but has demonstrated his potential to be a great leader in nursing by becoming the president of the Student Nurses Association within the College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In this role, Aaron established the student work constitution, organized and facilitated meetings, and worked closely with faculty advisors to elevate the presence of the association, mentors, and volunteers. Aaron’s leadership and care for others are also evident through his volunteerism. He has spent numerous hours tutoring students in the sciences and has contributed to the community by working with the elderly, participating in events such as Community Health Day and heart walks to name a few.His volunteerism set the foundation for his motto of “living simply” and serving others. “I matured greatly as a person through my earlier academic experience at UW-Madison. My mental prep improved greatly which helped set the foundation for the nursing program at UW-Milwaukee. I have invested more intently in my education.” At UW-Milwaukee, I feel connected to the subject matter because it is taught well. The relationships with professors are extremely positive.”
Aaron’s shares his perspective of nursing diversity. “While there are still a small percentage of males in nursing, each one has had to work hard to get into their respective nursing schools. Just as the stereotype exists that males cannot be as compassionate and caring as female nursing students, a different stereotype, that being male automatically gets you accepted into nursing school also exists.” At UW-Milwaukee, it took Aaron two tries to get into the program with a high cumulative grade point average and participation in several extracurricular activities. “The first time I applied, I wasn’t even waitlisted. However, I incorporated the feedback that I received in order to improve my application for the following semester and eventually got in.”
Aaron’s advice for current and future nursing students is simple “utilize available campus resources, such as professors, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling in your classes before it’s too late.” Furthermore, “don’t get discouraged if you do not get into your nursing program the first time around. Rather, be open to constructive criticism and identify areas that you need to work on.” Aaron stresses the importance of being a well-rounded student, working hard academically, and getting involved on campus with student organizations and volunteering. “This will strengthen your nursing school application and help you once you get into clinicals, as nursing can be academically and mentally tough at times.”
Currently, Aaron is working at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Orthopedics and believes shadowing the nurses is a great experience where he feels challenged. Aaron reflects on his academic journey,”I believe I’ve invested a lot in my academic career and feel I can bring a very positive experience to patients through care and compassion. Ultimately, I believe patients will teach and help me to become a better person and nurse.” As for the future, Aaron plans to intern as a student nurse to gain valuable experience prior to graduating next December. He’s not sure of the direction within the field, but knows he will be happy in any area of nursing. After serving as an RN for a few years, he plans to pursue graduate school.
Submitted by WCN Board of Directors Member:
Juanita Terrie Garcia, MEd, RN
Project BEYOND-2 Coordinator
Marquette University College of Nursing
Senior Grant Specialist
Aurora Research Institute