Did you know that it is estimated that at least half the caregivers in rural communities are registered nurses? Nurses provide the essential care needed by rural residents. Because most rural nurses are from rural communities, they have an innate understanding of their patients and their needs. Fluent in regional speech patterns, they know how to communicate
effectively with their patients. Rural nurses are successful in building trust with their patients, which is extremely important in providing proper healthcare.
Meet Bethany Bulgrin! Bethany is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student attending UW-Madison with the help of a scholarship from WROF, Inc. While earning her degree, she is also learning about the early use of palliative care in the ICU, as well as compassion fatigue and burnout in the ICU.
We recently caught up with this busy student, to check in to see how she's doing.
Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
I am from Spooner, Wisconsin. However, I didn’t live in town; I grew up out in the country right on the Yellow River.
What have been your biggest challenges so far going to school?
The biggest challenge for me is working while attending school. I knew that I wanted to support myself while I continued my education. Balancing work, school, and everyday life is a skill. I have learned a lot about scheduling my time wisely.
Describe a favorite memory attending UW-Madison thus far or something new you’ve discovered.
I have been blessed with finding the best friends at UW-Madison. There is something about being brought together by common interests that really bonds you. I feel very supported by my classmates and instructors. I don’t ever feel like I am alone in my journey. A memory that I will always hold close is getting
to tour the capital with my classmates and having the privilege of talking to a representative that supports nurses.
What would you like people to understand about rural communities in Wisconsin?
Growing up in a rural community is kind of like a big hug. You can’t leave the grocery store without running into your neighbor, doctor, or teacher. You always have a cheering section. Living in a rural community is like having a built-in family. I feel so blessed to have grown up somewhere that supports me no
After you graduate, what draws you back to your roots in Wisconsin?
It feels important to give back to a place that has given me so much. My family and friends live in Wisconsin and being able to work and live beside them and support them as much as they have supported me mean a lot to me.
What do you love best about rural Wisconsin?
It feels peaceful. It feels very simple to grow up in rural Wisconsin, I felt like I could really be a kid. I grew up being outdoors and learning priceless skills that I don’t know if I would have learned if I lived anywhere else.
How has a WROF scholarship helped you achieve your goals?
Being offered a WROF scholarship has been huge for me. I was able to cut back my hours at work to really focus on my schoolwork and enjoy the experiences that come my way. I am so thankful for the opportunity to really engage in my classes and not worry so much about the financial side of continuing my
Any other thoughts or comments to share?
I want others to know that it is possible to achieve whatever is in your heart. I grew up in a rural WI town that shaped me, molded me, and supported me. I knew that I could learn more, and my family and friends encouraged it. And at the end of the day, they always reminded me that I could come home no matter what.