12:27 PM

Mom, Daughter Walk Stage Together, Toward Advancing Nursing Careers

Tanya Duryea and Megan Allen, a mother and daughter pair from Broken Bow, Nebraska, shared a special moment when they both walked across the stage during Bellevue University’s Spring Commencement ceremony January 27, 2018. The moment was the culmination of a lot of hard work as the pair earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

Allen had alerted Duryea, already an experienced nurse, back in 2016 about a scholarship opportunity at Bellevue University. Duryea had not been thinking about returning to school, but the scholarship intrigued her. A meeting with Lori McCullough, a Relationship Manager for Bellevue University on the Mid-Plains Community College campus, just two weeks before classes started was enough to sell her on the program. She convinced Allen to apply, as well.

“I didn’t think either one of us would meet the deadline, but God had a plan,” Duryea said. “We were both accepted into the program.”

Both Duryea and Allen had friends and family filling cheerleader roles throughout their educational pursuits.

“They truly helped us succeed with their encouragement.” Duryea said.  “I couldn’t have made it this far without some really great educational super heroes, like my high school guidance counselor John Sweenie and Don Davis, a high school teacher extraordinaire and college advisor. And finally, every single nursing instructor and nurse that I learned from the last 29 years. God has truly blessed us with the plan put before us to be nurses.”

The mother and daughter who were already close grew even closer as they helped motivate each another and boost one another through the rough spots on the journey to getting their degrees.

“I will be forever thankful for Megan’s help with the computer technology. That was challenging for me,” Duryea said. “I think my years of experience in nursing was helpful for her. The best part was having each other to discuss assignments with to make sure we were on track. We were able to critique each other’s work to make improvements and turn in our best work.”

Support also came from faculty and staff, especially Dr. Kimberley Meisinger, Director of the Nursing program.

“Dr.  Meisinger helped me work through how to be successful in this program while dealing with some of the stressors in life that could have prevented me from completing it,” Duryea said. “She was very understanding that working and going to college full time is challenging. I appreciated that she personally congratulated Megan and I at graduation.”

Today, Duryea is a pediatric nurse at Craig Home Care and also works part-time at Brookestone Gardens in Kearney, Nebraska. Allen works full-time at Kearney Regional Medical Center.

“It was a challenging program and required time and commitment so I could be better equipped to be a leader in nursing,” Duryea said. “I honestly believe I am a better nurse and person from attending Bellevue University.”