Christine Trewhitt ’14 is no stranger to the impact a nurse can have on one person — patient or otherwise. Trewhitt has known the value of nursing since she was young; ever since she watched nurses in her home attend to her mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. She found that the presence of a nurse was a positive influence on both her and her mother. “I kind of correlated the two — a nurse in the house and my mom feeling better,” she recalls. Trewhitt has taken this lesson with her throughout her life and into the career she has today.
The decision to become a nurse seemed a simple enough choice for Trewhitt. She is confident in her decision and finds that students can sometimes question whether they have made the right choice in their careers.
As far as choosing a university, she chose Graceland because of its highly ranked nursing program. She was familiar with Graceland already since her parents, grandparents and many members of her extended family have also been graduates. Her parents, David Trewitt ’80 and Carol Noffsinger ’80, are in teaching and social-work professions. Trewhitt feels as though nursing is a combination of both, which revolve around helping people.
"I really feel like it was a calling I couldn't be anywhere else."
She took the opportunity to begin her altruistic experience while attending Graceland. When Trewhitt was a student, she took trips to Guatemala and Jamaica with other Graceland nursing students for cultural diversity credits. There, she spent a few weeks immersed in the culture — she and her classmates stayed with Guatemalan families, helped in clinics and visited hospitals. “We got to see nursing from a whole different perspective,” she says, remembering her experience. “It makes you very grateful for everything that we have.”
Trewhitt received both her BSN and MSN from Graceland. Currently, Trewhitt works at Saint Luke’s East Hospital in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, as a registered nurse and continues to feel inspired in her profession. “It’s important to have a meaningful profession, just for your own spiritual growth. You’re always going to be learning, you’re never going to be bored.” Trewhitt says she enjoys the diversity of the tasks a nurse can provide, and she likes interacting with a variety of patients.
As a new family nurse practitioner, she recently accepted a job with Saint Luke’s Medical Group on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, where she will do just that. There, she will give primary care to a diverse community of patients and collaborate with some of the best health care providers in Kansas City. In regard to her future, Trewhitt knows there are many avenues to take within the nursing field. She is excited to see what direction she will go, but is interested in becoming involved in professional organizations that promote legislation to protect nurses, patients and the right to affordable health care for all.