Why did you choose to pursue a career in nursing?
I grew up in a small town called Pinon, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation. I chose a career in nursing primarily because at a young age I was able to see that my hometown and other areas of the reservation were in need of native healthcare professionals. Growing up on the reservation, I realized that there was not only a lack of healthcare, but also resources, transportation, and education. I wanted to help improve the health of the people and I wanted to be a part of that change.
What drew you apply to UArizona’s BSN-IH program in Gilbert?
I was drawn to the BSN-IH program because of the integrative health focus. I wanted to be a part of something new, as this program is the first of its kind in the country. Prior to my admission to the BSN-IH program, I only knew a little about what integrative health meant. However, after some research I realized that it was fitting for me because it was based on the mind, body, and spirit and would focus on providing whole-person care.
“Since COVID has greatly impacted the Navajo reservation, I hope that I can offer my support through these difficult times. Thus, my role as a nurse on the reservation has just become that more meaningful and I look forward to helping my people when they need it the most.," ~ Shynnah Tacheene, BSN-IH Cohort Senior
How would you describe your experience over the course of the program?
My experience over the course of this program has been truly amazing. I have loved every moment I spent in this program, even with the challenges of COVID. This program combines conventional and holistic approaches to nursing and the curriculum was just the right balance of each. I do feel that it has prepared me for the nursing profession, and I am excited to extend my knowledge on integrative health to the reservation. Despite all the challenges, I was supported greatly by the faculty and am truly grateful to have been a part of this first cohort of BSN-IH students.
What has been your greatest takeaway from the program?
The greatest takeaway for me personally is the importance of the many integrative modalities we have learned over the span of this program. Not only have I learned so much about alternative approaches to patient care but I've learned how to implement these modalities into my personal life. We have incorporated the six integrative nursing principles throughout this program and in all aspects of the care we provide. There was also an emphasis on self-care, and I have implemented so many integrative modalities to help me cope and destress while in nursing school.
Tell us about your post-graduation plans.
My post-graduation plan is to return home to the Navajo reservation. I will be working at an Indian Health Services facility on a medical surgical unit. Since COVID has greatly impacted the Navajo reservation, I hope that I can offer my support through these difficult times. My role as a nurse on the reservation has just become that much more meaningful and I look forward to helping my people when they need it the most.