Buddhists believe in reincarnation, the ebb and flow of life and death. For many, it takes more than a lifetime to truly exhibit one of the most commendable characteristics of all—courage. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Saran Batchuluun ’10, already has lived many lives of courage in her 40-something years.
Batchuluun was born to a nomadic family in Mongolia, where she learned to ride a horse at age 4 and herd cattle, sheep and goats. As a little girl, she dreamed of wearing a uniform to school.
In 1996, Batchuluun graduated from the Health Sciences University of Mongolia. She spent the next two years working as a family physician, but her salary couldn’t even pay for a good pair of winter boots.
In 2002, she and her husband at the time decided that she should move alone to the U.S., where she could make a better living and send money back to her family, including three daughters.
After working as a caretaker for the elderly, Batchuluun walked into Sue Clark’s office in 2007. Because it was the last day for admissions, Clark, the adviser for the Accelerated Online Bachelor’s to BSN Program, immediately helped Batchuluun get the process underway.
“I was truly grateful to her from all my heart and spirit,” Batchuluun said. “I walked out of her office with big hope.”
Batchuluun worked hard to earn her nursing assistant certificate and her nursing degree and get a job at St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan.
“When nursing students graduate, they need to study for a national board exam, a very language-intensive exam,” Clark said. “She got that exam done. She got a job before many of her peers.”
But three weeks later, Batchuluun was involved in a horrific car accident that required extensive treatment.
To support her, UWO’s College of Nursing faculty collected a small amount of money to include in a greeting card. Brent MacWilliams ’95 and MSN ’03, Batchuluun’s first clinical instructor, even brought her a bike to encourage her recovery.
After six months of painful physical and emotional recovery, Batchuluun remarkably improved and returned to work. The day after Christmas 2010, Batchuluun joyously greeted two of her daughters at the airport.
“Nine years of my mission accomplished,” she said. “My kids are with me, and I can see a nice future for them, like a good ending to a movie.”
Read more of Batchuluun’s story in her own words.