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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh student Hope Sievert always knew she wanted to help others.

Graduating this weekend with a pair of degrees, Sievert started her college journey in a pre-physician assistant track at UW-La Crosse, majoring in biology. Her experiences with a pair of medical mission trips changed her focus.

Sievert knew she wanted to become a nurse.

“The pure joy that I experienced while helping the impoverished communities and families in Nicaragua was indescribable,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to have this feeling for the rest of my life.”

She shifted gears with her studies.

”I knew the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh had an amazing nursing program with a high NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) pass rate, which was the reason why I transferred spring semester of my junior year,” she said. “I was confident that I would develop the nursing skills and competency to be successful after graduation in any area that I choose.”

Prepared to make a difference

A native of Green Bay, Sievert has unique status, graduating Dec. 14 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish.

Daniel Gier, UW Oshkosh Spanish professor and chair of Global Languages and Cultures, worked with Sievert to obtain her Spanish degree. He said Sievert is a great example of a high-performing student at UWO.

“Hope is one of the very few students I have had over many years who has had the tenacity to successfully double major in nursing and Spanish,” he said. “Her success is directly attributable to her organization, punctuality, never missing class, constant questions and insistence on doing things the right way. She is a hard worker―an attribute that will always be a great benefit for her and for those around her.”

Sievert was hired before graduation—she’ll work as a registered nurse at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Appleton on the intermediate floor. Her goal is to gain experience before seeking a role in the intensive care unit.

In the future, she plans to continue volunteering her nursing skills in Central America to help those who cannot afford adequate medical care.

Sievert said Vida Volunteer, the non-profit mission organization she worked with, stood out because of its emphasis on education. She realized it closely reflected the holistic aspect of nursing.

Her strong Spanish language abilities help her form a therapeutic relationship with her patients.

Next phase

With a UWO nursing program that she described as “extremely challenging,” Sievert was fortunate to have love and support from her family. She said faith, family and friends were her backbone throughout her collegiate experience.

Sievert appreciates that Commencement marks the end of one chapter and the start of another.

She said she’ll miss the Saturday Downtown Oshkosh Farmers Market and running through the Celebration of Lights in Menominee Park.

“Make time for yourself and don’t forget to make memories because college truly does fly by,” she advises students.

Sievert’s long-term plans are to return to school to obtain a nurse practitioner degree and become a clinical nurse instructor.

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