WCU-Ontario Alumni Spotlight: Mark Howell, BSN

After working for over five years as a licensed vocational nurse at various hospitals and departments, Mark Howell decided to get out of his comfort zone and enroll at West Coast University-Ontario for his bachelor’s of science in nursing. “It was something I needed to accomplish for myself and I’m glad I did,” Mark said of going back to school.

“It was the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my adult life but if you can make it through school, you can make it through the field.” Now the WCU alumnus has been working as an emergency room RN for over a year and has no plans of slowing down. Howell said he loves the fast-paced environment of the emergency room, and isn’t one to back down from a challenge.

“You go in at shift change, assess your patients, put on your skates and just go,” Mark said of the action-packed county hospital ER he works in as a registered nurse. “You have to have an attitude of ‘Whatever happens, just go with it – especially during COVID.”

During his time at WCU, Mark participated in the Global Public Health program where he and his group had a chance to travel to Argentina and learn about the healthcare field there.

“Global Public Health was one of the best times I’ve ever had,” Mark said about the abroad program. “Never think you’re not good enough, just apply, because you never know if you don’t try, and that applies to in everything in life.” And speaking of help, Mark shared that his biggest piece of advice to new nurses or incoming students is to never be afraid to ask for help.

“This field is a very helping field and you don’t want your patient having a poor outcome because you didn’t ask for help,” Mark said. “Asking for help doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing, but it can make a difference in patient care.”

Due to the current uncertainties with international travel, all WCU study abroad programs are suspended until further notice as advised by international ordinances and global public health officials.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.