“There was no question in my mind that Union was the place to be,” Tabitha Fleming said. She graduated from Union’s nursing program in May 2021, but she recalls how different Union was from the other colleges she considered after graduating high school. “I felt they really cared about me as a person. They were so friendly here—I felt welcome and wanted.”
After a discouraging experience visiting a different college, Tabitha met Taleah Vallés-Peters, a recruiter at Union. “Taleah lifted me up and told me I could do anything I put my mind to,” Tabitha said. Her parents encouraged her to visit, and Tabitha chose to leave her home in Bakersfield, California for Nebraska.
At first, Tabitha doubted her abilities, finding nursing more difficult than she expected. But after settling into the program, she found confidence to face the challenges. “I realized that I am smart and I can do hard things,” she said. “I found who I was at Union, and I realized I was enough.”
In their studies, Tabitha and the other nursing students received genuine care and support from their professors. When she was having a bad day, her professors would offer to help, even if it just meant offering a home cooked meal. “They went the extra mile and cared about us more than just as students,” Tabitha said. “You can really feel Jesus’ presence at Union, and I really grew in this environment.”
As a graduate, Tabitha is a nurse in the Progressive Care Unit at Saint Elizabeth hospital here in Lincoln. “I absolutely love it. It’s a very family oriented team. I’m looking forward to going to work every day and learning more,” she said. And some of her patients have seen something different in her. One told her she had kindness in her eyes. “Union taught me how to take care of my patients holistically,” Tabitha said. “I think they prepare you with a higher standard, and that reflects in our care.”
By Maria Kercher, senior communication major