Kristen Cato has a passion for caring for others—and is improving the medical field one patient at a time.
In 2013, Kristen graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. As a standout in her class, Kristen was offered and accepted a full-time position in a Neuro-Trauma Intensive Care Unit two months prior to graduating.
Kristen has always been a bit ahead of schedule—in fact, in high school she served as a nurse’s aide. This experience, combined with assisting her grandparents during a difficult aging process, solidified her commitment to the medical field.
Once accepted to College of the Ozarks, Kristen says the College of the Ozarks culture was a perfect fit. Christ-like character and hard work were already engrained in Kristen.
“I grew up having chores as well as helping my grandpa complete tasks such as picking up rocks.”
No stranger to hard work, it’s not surprising Kristen thrived in the C of O work program. From assisting cooks in the cafeteria to landscaping to making famous C of O fruitcakes—Kristen got her hands dirty and expanded her resume.
Her final work station, the Nursing Simulation Lab, was extremely helpful in providing hands-on experience.
“It was in this job that I was able to assist in setting up and running the simulations as well as tutor fellow Nursing students.”
Simulations range from safe medicine administration to labor and delivery to treatment for a wide range of diseases.
Kristen’s C of O experience went beyond the walls of a classroom.
“I was blessed to travel abroad to Belize with Nurses on Mission—it was there I was able to experience a greater depth and understanding of just how great God really is,” Kristen said. “The Belizeans were so humble and thankful for even the little things we were able to provide.”
Kristen is grateful too—for her debt-free education.
“A debt-free education was very important to me and allowed me to pursue my dreams without being bogged down by thousands of dollars in student loans.”
Bogged down Kristen is not—now an Emergency Room nurse, Kristen is pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing and hopes to become a family nurse practitioner.
This is an opportunity where she believes she can help more people get well and live a happy, healthy life.
“I know God always has His plans and many times our plans are not His; however, this has been laid on my heart for many years and with faith, I believe I can make that dream a reality.”
and receive a pack of C of O zinnia seeds!