Follow your passion in nursing education

Follow your passion

Before stepping into a health care career six years ago, Jesse Kooistra thought he would become a paramedic because he was attracted to the adrenaline rush of helping others during an emergency situation. Fortunately for his patients and his team at Elkhart General Hospital, he followed his true passion, realizing that being a nurse suited his style much better.

Today, Jesse works as a registered nurse in the Emergency Department at the hospital, and he can’t imagine doing anything else. “I love my job and department,” he said. “The size of our hospital provides the care our community needs, but is small enough that team members all know each other.” Each day in the ER brings new opportunities for Jesse to apply his clinical skills: “We dabble in cardiac and stroke care, trauma, gastrointestinal issues, orthopedics — you name it, we have probably been involved in some way or another.”

From triaging incoming patients to giving an emergency blood transfusion to talking a young patient through getting an IV, the care of each patient requires both technical talent and an ability to connect with heart. And now that he’s found his calling as a nurse, Jesse is continuing his education to further hone his skills. He will graduate this spring with his bachelor of science in nursing from Goshen College with help from the generous support of local donors toward nursing scholarships through Beacon Health Foundation. 

“Nursing school is hard but so worth it,” Jesse said. “It opens the doors to many areas of nursing I did not even know were possible. Nursing is more than bedside care.” When some days in the ER prove to be more challenging than others, Jesse is thankful for the support of his wife, five kids, his faith and his Beacon colleagues. He’s grateful, too, for the opportunity to fulfill his career goals by taking his nursing education to the next level. 

“I would like to thank the community members and donors who make it possible for us to do our jobs and obtain the education we need to continue doing our part in the community.” – Jesse Kooistra, EMT-B, RN, Elkhart General Hospital

Building the Beacon Nurse

The generous support of our donors provides Beacon nurses the opportunity to achieve their dreams by furthering their education. Scholarship gifts are often made in gratitude for exceptional care received, a way to give back to those who made a difference in a donor’s life. Through this giving spirit, our nurses can keep their skills at their utmost and our patients benefit by receiving outstanding medical care. Through the Beacon Health Foundation, over $200,000 in nursing scholarships is given each year to deserving individuals. 

Story by: Laura Bailey

Story date: 06/2021