Student Profile - Jessica Pospisil

Nursing major pursues passion for learning, helping others

Even while working in the Grand Canyon with the Partners in the Parks Program earlier this year, Jessica Pospisil of Manvel couldn’t forget her nursing roots.Jessica Pospisil in nursing simulation lab

“I loved it, but I still went back to thinking about nursing,” Pospisil said. “When you’re in the Grand Canyon in summertime, you’re on limited water, and you need to put on sunscreen and be careful not to trip over rocks.”

Pospisil first learned about the Partners in the Parks Program when a representative came to discuss the experiential learning opportunity with the National Parks Service during a Lamar Honors Program meeting. During her time with the Partners in the Parks Program, which is sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council, Pospisil researched the local fauna and flora, participated in a beautification of Grand Canyon National Park, and visited a local Native American reservation. Partners in the Parks is just one of the many rewarding programs and organizations that Pospisil, a nursing major, has been involved with. In her time at Lamar, Pospisil has participated in many student events and organizations. Pospisil is an LU Ambassador and a member of the Lamar Honors Program, which she served as president in her junior year.

“My involvement with organizations has helped me learn how to deal with people, communicate, and work well with others,” Pospisil said. “It has also helped me to develop more of a professional identity for myself.”

In addition, Pospisil is the president of the May 2014 graduating class of students receiving a Bachelors of Science in nursing, and she is a member of the Lamar University Texas Student Nursing Association (LUTSNA), which she served as secretary in her junior year. These positions have helped her to realize and prepare for her goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. Beforehand, though, Pospisil hopes to gain experience by working in a hospital on a general surgical floor or a cardiac floor.

“I love the heart—the structure, not necessarily the emotional side of it. But I love it,” Pospisil said.

Pospisil has known for quite some time that she wanted to be a nurse. It started in health class in her sophomore year of high school when she saw a motivational poster advocating the nursing profession on the wall.

“I see it everywhere now. It’s this really cool poster with these nurses posing and looking cool,” Pospisil said.

Pospisil’s biggest motivator, though, has been her family. Pospisil first considered entering the medical field when her twin brother, Martin, had surgery for sports injuries. She wanted to help him, but she had no experience. When her grandmother later became very sick and was admitted to the hospital, Pospisil realized that she felt very strongly about starting a career in medicine.

“Even though I didn’t know a lot, she felt comfortable with me being there, like everything was going to be okay. I want to pass that on to my patients,” Pospisil said. “It’s such a good feeling knowing that you made a small difference.”

This desire to help others, coupled with her interest in the medical field, led Pospisil to pursue a career in nursing, where she enjoys the personal connections nurses are able to form with patients.

“The patients are your focus. When I’m in clinicals or volunteering and I walk next to the nurses, they know all of the patients’ stories and want to carry on conversations with them,” Pospisil said. “You really get to know not just the patients but their families as well. It’s just amazing.”

Pospisil’s experiences at clinicals, during which nursing students get hands-on experience by shadowing nurses at hospitals, will always be her favorite part of the Lamar nursing program. Pospisil also enjoys using Lamar’s state-of-the-art simulation labs, which are set up as functioning hospital rooms and feature lifelike mannequins that can talk and display vital signs. Her favorite class is pharmacology, and the professors in the JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing make learning truly enjoyable. Though she likes all of the Lamar nursing faculty, Pospisil’s favorite instructor is Gina Hale.

“Mrs. Hale is very energetic when she teaches,” Pospisil said. “She’s like a little cheerleader cheering you on, and I love that because I want to have the same passion when I get older.”

Pospisil feels that her experiences with the Lamar nursing program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, have truly prepared her for a nursing career. Along with her love for Lamar’s student facilities, such as the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center and the Cardinal Village residence halls, she feels that the quality of Lamar’s faculty and the smaller class sizes are part of what makes Lamar a good investment.

“I love the class sizes at Lamar,” Pospisil said. “It seems like all the teachers and instructors here are really there to help you.”

Pospisil has received several scholarships from Lamar, including the Mary Frances Dishman Sherlock Endowed Nursing Scholarship and the Tom F. and Ann D. Jones Honors Scholarship. Outside of school, Pospisil enjoys reading, gardening, running, and climbing the rock wall at the recreational center. She has also participated in many volunteer activities while attending Lamar, such as working with the Adopt-A-Beach Program and Triangle AIDS Network. She volunteers regularly at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont and teaches Vacation Bible School as well. For Pospisil, it all comes down to a constant willingness to learn.

“As a nurse, you are responsible for continuing to learn,” Pospisil said. “You will never stop learning in the nursing field. There will always be new research, and that’s amazing.”