Macayla Burke — Featured Story

Macayla Burke, '24, is a sophomore nursing student at Niagara University

“I would not change a thing. Niagara University is my dream come true. From the connections I have made here to the nursing program, my time has served me exceptionally well and continues to be the perfect fit for me.”

Macayla Burke, ’24, shares her perspective on what it’s like being a nursing student. Burke is a sophomore in the four-year B.S.N. program in the College of Nursing at NU.

Q: Looking back to when you were a prospective student, what about Niagara’s nursing program stood out to you?

A: What stood out to me the most was being able to start nursing classes my first semester of freshman year, beginning clinical rotations during sophomore year, and being able to partake in hands-on learning in the simulation lab. One of the many reasons I chose Niagara was because of the hands-on experiences I would be able to take advantage of, including clinical labs, equipment demonstrations, etc.

Q: What led you to decide to pursue nursing?

A: My sister, Lilyana (Lily), is the reason I chose to become a nurse. At the age of 10, Lily was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. For the past five years, I have watched her endure weekly injections, bi-weekly infusions, low-dose chemotherapy, and more medications than I can count. She is the strongest girl I know, and she is my biggest inspiration. She taught me I could do anything I set my mind to, and truly inspired me to become a nurse. Along this journey with my sister, I have seen the importance of nurses, and how even a simple smile can impact a patient and their family.

Q: What are some invaluable lessons you have learned that you will carry with you into your career?

A: Recently while working at my clinical rotation at a local hospital, I met a sweet woman and I learned the importance of being present, and how nurses provide more than just medical care. I sat with this woman for a few hours, talking with her, and holding her hand. As I was getting ready to leave, she told me something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. She said, “I cannot express my gratitude enough for the time you spent with me today. I have not been able to see my family in a few years, and connecting with you today brought a smile to my face that I had lost years ago. Thank you.” These words served as a great reminder as to why I chose a career in nursing.

Q: Beyond the classroom, how have you embraced life as a Purple Eagle?

A: Outside of working on my nursing degree, I am extremely involved in campus life. I am the co-chair of our Campus Programming Board’s Late Nite Niagara Committee; I am a community advisor in Seton Hall; I work as a tutor in the Academic Success Center; I am an Admissions Tour Guide; I play attack on the Women’s Club Lacrosse Team; and I am involved in the Student Nurses Association and American Sign Language Club.

Learn more about how you can pursue your passions with Niagara University’s College of Nursing.