Elizabeth Oyeyemi always dreamed of going to a large college after she graduated from high school. She was determined to establish some sort of independence from her family. After graduating from Riverdale High School, she started her college career at Georgia State University.
During her sophomore year, she began looking into nursing programs and their requirements. She never thought she’d return to the same county where she graduated from high school to continue her education. After researching Nursing programs, she decided to attend Clayton State University as a transient student so she could take Pathophysiology.
“Coming on campus when I commuted did not make me feel like a commuter. The beautiful campus, friendly students and staff, and small community feel was really inviting. When I stepped on the campus I just knew I was home,” she says.
Oyeyemi realized Clayton State was the school for her and entered the Nursing program. While she attended Clayton State, she became really involved on campus.
“Through friends that were already at Clayton State I was able to get involved on campus and form other lasting friendships,” she says, noting that she was a Campus Events Council member, Laker Orientation Leader, a member of the Clayton State Gospel Choir and vice president for the Student Nurses Association.
In the Nursing program, Oyeyemi experienced a strong sense of empowerment through being around similar students and supportive professors.
“It was a blessing to find those going on a similar path that I was,” she says. “Through other students I was empowered. I was taught to never give up and to share the knowledge which I have acquired with others. I had fantastic professors who never gave up on me, and genuinely cared.
“There are two professors who still stand out. Professor Han Dong, who interviewed me for the Nursing program, and gave me the opportunity to achieve my dream, and Professor Nancy Capponi; because of her I realized where I wanted to be, after taking her ED class, I just knew that the Emergency Department was where I wanted/needed to be.”
Students in the Clayton State Nursing program participate in clinicals for each rotation. Clinicals are opportunities for students to experience experiential learning, or learning outside the classroom. Nursing students can put their knowledge and skills to work in a supervised real world health care environment.
“With clinical I was able to get hands on experience, really learn and understand what it was the job would require of me and determine if it was for me,” says Oyeyemi. “I learned about patient care, the importance of asking questions and realizing that I didn’t always have all the answers. During clinical I found where I wanted to be, the ED. I fell in love. I found a place where I would really be me, energetic, help others and learn critical care.”
Clayton State helped Oyeyemi succeed during her college career through ample resources, knowledgeable professors and opportunities for experiential learning.
“There are so many things that as students we have at our fingertips,” she says. “Professors who want to see us grow, study groups, career services, we pay for it, there’s no need to let it go to waste.”
Oyeyemi graduated from Clayton in May 2014, and is currently a Registered Nurse at DeKalb Medical. She plans to return to school soon and get her DNP (Doctorate Nurse Practices).
“I can honestly say that Clayton State helped me accomplish my dreams.”