For Arten Bagumyan — or just "Art" to his friends — the best thing about being a student nurse happened early each day at his clinical sites.
"Usually it was about like 6 to 6:30 in the morning, when we walked in and that first interaction with the patient, telling them that you're a student nurse, telling them what you're gonna do for them that day and if they have any questions or concerns that you would advocate for them to whatever degree you can," Bagumyan said. "I think that was like the main thing that kept me coming back and making me want more because I would go and I would tell the patient, 'Hi, my name is Art. I'm your student nurse for today. What can I help you with?'"
The choice to be a nurse wasn't a difficult one for him, Bagumyan said. Most of his family works in healthcare, and once he toured the West Coast University-Los Angeles campus where his cousin was enrolled in pursuit of her bachelor of science in nursing degree, the choice of where to become a nurse wasn't hard either.
"It's very individualized and since you are seeing the same professors from this class and the next and the same students are going through the whole program you have a sense of comfort and a sense of trust and a bond that you probably wouldn't get at any other school," he said.
Graduating with honors, Bagumyan was also elected to be one of the two speakers for the cohort. Before the event, he shared one of the tips that helped him greatly in the classroom during his time at WCU-Los Angeles.
"The best advice I can give is to develop a great support system -- and that's not just including your family and your friends -- it's including your peers because going through this school is very difficult without having that connection and that does not like exclude our instructors,” he said. “Having an instructor as a support system and developing a nice bond of them can mean the difference between you learning the information and completely understanding it.”