Misty Brooks

Misty Brooks works toward BSN with new Iowa State program

Misty Brooks is giving new life to her career through Iowa State University’s nursing program.

Misty has been a registered nurse (RN) since spring 2017. She works as a nurse at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames and is pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) while taking care of five children at home. Since enrolling in the BSN program fall of 2018, Misty’s pursuit of a BSN evolved from something she had to do for work, into something she wanted to do for herself.

Iowa State’s on-campus courses and personable professors have made earning her BSN much more than fulfilling a work obligation.

“I’ve gotten so much out of this program to become a better nurse,” Misty said. “Before this, I don’t know if I really knew my scope of practice. It’s easy as an RN to go to work, take care of your patients, and go home, and forget that you have a role as an advocate.”

Misty is a semester away from earning her BSN from Iowa State. While working through the program, she has uncovered new perspectives on the nursing profession and her role as a caretaker.

Misty has learned to look at her practice more holistically than before. She has studied the industry through a wider scope with topics such as public health and population, emergency care, food insecurity, medical staffing, and underserved populations.

“You’re not just looking at yourself as a nurse, but you’re looking at the big picture,” Misty said. 

Misty has pursued her interests in holistic patient care through her recent research. She’s studied the effects that aromatherapy has on pain in cancer patients.

“Cancer patients experience chronic pain, and it’s amazing to think of how many of them take narcotics for pain,” Misty said. “What alternative or complimentary medications are there for them?”

Misty presented her research at the National Evidence-Based Practice Conference at the University of Iowa on April 17 and 18. She also hopes to implement a trial at Mary Greeley.

With five kids, a full-time job, and a full-time class schedule, Misty has a lot to juggle while she earns her BSN. Though it’s been hard at times, she said that pursuing her dream career has been worth all the work.

“It’s just fulfilling, figuring out that this is what you were really meant to do,” Misty said. “It’s easy to wake up and go to work and do schoolwork when you’re passionate and love what you do.”