Senior Anna Burton has had an exciting end to her final semester at Newman. Not only will she graduate in December, she was recently recognized with two major honors — one in the world of sports and the other for her passion and drive to help others.
Burton is a nursing major who also loves volleyball. And recently, she received First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-America status, an achievement that is one of the most prestigious honors a collegiate student-athlete can receive.
Off the court, she wants nothing more than to help others, a passion that led her to pursue a degree in nursing.
She came to Newman as a transfer student to play volleyball, but also knew that Newman was well-known for its nursing program.
During the traditional Nursing Pinning Ceremony held Dec. 15, Burton was surprised with the Distinguished Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Graduate Award. The award is given to a graduating nursing student who has a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA and demonstrates an exceptional commitment to the nursing profession and involvement in the Newman and greater Wichita communities.
Burton said her time at Newman has helped shape her into the person she is today.
"There were many times when I was discouraged in school," Burton explained, "but I put my head down and did what I had to do in order to get things done and get them done correctly. My nursing experience has taught me to do everything I do with compassion. You never know what someone may be going through, so giving them the benefit of the doubt and doing what you can for them is so important."
Pursuing two passions such as athletics and nursing is a time-consuming ordeal. Burton said she couldn't have made it through without the tremendous support she was given from her parents, friends and one particular professor that made a difference in her life.
"I owe my success to so many people ... but one person who sticks out is my professor, Amy Siple," Burton said. "Every day I sat in her class, I thought to myself, 'I hope to one day be half the nurse she is.' Besides being extremely intelligent, she always incorporated faith and compassion into her class. She was willing to speak to us about mistakes she has made so that we could learn from them. She has always believed in me and she supported me in volleyball as well. Her constant support allowed me to believe in myself as well and push myself to become a better nurse every day."
Burton will soon take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and then begin her career in nursing.
"I have accepted a job at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City in the labor and delivery department," she said. "I have moved back to Kansas City — I grew up here — and I will start in February, contingent on me passing the NCLEX."
Burton said she appreciates what she has gained from her experience at Newman and is looking forward to the next steps in her life.
"My experience at Newman has taught me the importance of hard work and doing everything with compassion."