Nichole Logan has a passion for helping others. From that passion, she decided to return to school and recareer as a nurse.
As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, Logan attended college and pursued a business degree. She explained, “I went to college after high school because I thought that was what I was supposed to do in order to get a job and pay the bills. I didn’t know you could go to school for something you were passionate about.”
Logan received her business baccalaureate from UW- La Crosse and then accepted a community health internship at Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) in a rural Wisconsin health department. While with AHEC, Logan worked closely with migrant farmworkers and public health nurses, developing a very personal connection and understanding the social determinants of health that impact communities.
After that internship, Logan followed her baccalaureate career path and entered the marketing workforce. After ten years of working for a large commercial printing company, Logan “had a desire to do something soul-satisfying and serve my community.” From that self-discovery, she began networking, researching, job shadowing to discover a career that she described would allow her to reach “a long term goal to work in public health, where I can partner with community members to improve the social conditions that allow people to be healthy”.
After months of research and meeting with potential schools, Logan chose UWM College of Nursing’s BS in Nursing. As a second-degree student, “I chose UWM’s bachelor in nursing because the program is realistic for my life, the campus is close to home, tuition is affordable.” Another deciding factor that was key to Logan’s decision-making process was her interactions with the UWM College of Nursing advisor, Donna Wier. Logan shared, “Donna was so helpful as I explored my options to find the nursing program that fit my needs. She made sure I understood my options for recareering, and honestly, if it wouldn’t have been for Donna, I’m not sure I would be here.”
In January 2020, Logan began her bachelor of science in nursing, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut most of the world down. Throughout the last 18 months, Logan has worked to expand her experiences and knowledge alongside her academics. She has treated every opportunity as a stepping stone from pre-requisites at a technical college, beginning nursing school, and accepting patient-facing positions, including a nursing assistantship and nurse externship.” Dr. Melissa Brown, UWM College of Nursing undergraduate program director, shared, “Nichole has a boundless drive to be part of everything that is nursing, both in and out of the classroom. She will bring to the profession what it so desperately needs –committed caregivers who ask the right questions, develop data-driven hypotheses, and enact timely interventions that support the very best patient/family outcomes.”.”
In spring 2021, Logan received a surprise. Within months of starting her nursing assistantship at the Clement J. Zablocki Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center (Milwaukee, WI), she was notified she had been nominated and awarded the Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Logan works on a Spinal Cord Unit, where she partners with patients of varying physical abilities, getting to know each of the patients as individuals, maintaining a patient-centered approach. She believes her previous career experiences impact the way she approaches patient care. She explained, “the care I provide for my patients is influenced by my background in business, customer service and the fact that every single patient is a human who deserves kindness. I do for them what I am able to do for myself.”
Logan shared, “going back to school was scary, but everything builds upon itself. I would tell others just take it one step at a time.”
In the notes: Nichole Logan has received multiple scholarships that have helped her through her journey to becoming a bachelor’s prepared nurse, including UWM College of Nursing Jean Terogh ’85 scholarship, the Glendale Women’s Club scholarship, the Wisconsin Women’s Alliance Scholarship (twice). Logan has also benefited from the UW System tuition assistance grant for students working in health care and assisting with COVID vaccinations.