Jordan Martins ’18
Major: Nursing

In a brief summary, what do you do?

I am a pediatric oncology nurse at Sanford in Fargo. I work with kids who have cancer and their families, administer chemotherapy, and do any procedures that are needed.

What drew you to the field of nursing?

When I started, I didn’t know what I was going to go into. I had no idea I was going to be a nurse. I happened to go to Concordia, thankfully, and I took a class called Vocations in the Health Professions. It was a one credit course on Monday nights and one class there was a nursing night. I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s what nurses do?!” I just didn’t have any experience with a nurse growing up. I was like, “I think that’s what I’m supposed to do.” That’s how I ended up applying for the program and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s super weird, but that’s how it happened.

What would you say is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is working with the kids and their families, for sure. Being able to make a connection with someone during a time that is the hardest in their life is so important. You’re treating the child, but also the family. I also enjoy being able to be my weird self. If I can make them laugh, whether they’re coming in for treatment or feeling sick, that is probably my favorite part.

How did your experience with the nursing department prepare you for your current position?

It was hard. Nursing school was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I realize now that it was hard because I’m taking care of human life. I don’t really have space to mess up; there is literal life in my hands. Nursing school here at Concordia was difficult, but it was also a space where we came together. As a class, with the faculty, I really felt that this is where I was supposed to be. By the end, I really felt that no matter what field I went into, I would be ready.

How did your professors help get you ready for a career in nursing?

Every nursing professor at Concordia is different. Most of them come from different fields of nursing, which is helpful. You get to see each of their perspectives and how much they all care. I knew that at any time I had a problem with a clinical or class, I could ask any of them for help. It was wonderful to be able to reach out to my professors about school and life as well. They’re compassionate, above everything.

Could you talk about the hands-on experience you gained as a part of the nursing program?

I think I got the best clinical experience I could at Concordia. I was in the nursing home, I was in the hospital, ICU, pediatrics, hospice, I even got to see a woman give birth. We hit every single field. I don’t think many schools get that hands-on experience in the classroom and then apply it directly in the real world in almost every field. It was really cool to be able to do that here. 

Why did you choose Concordia?

I didn’t know where I was going to go to school. I had my tour in May, a week after graduation. Walking onto campus I just had a feeling. It felt like a close community. I knew I also wanted to be involved with athletics and other extracurriculars, so this felt like the place. 

What advice would you give to someone who is considering the nursing program at Concordia?

If you’re considering the nursing program at Concordia and you know you want to be a nurse, know that it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be challenging. But it’s definitely worth it. When you’re done, you feel like you can go into any field, any position, with a lot of confidence. You’ll feel 100 percent prepared. 

Why are you proud to have participated in the nursing program at Concordia?

Working in a teaching hospital, I get to see Concordia students come up to the floor. You can tell how hard they work, how ready, professional, and respectful they are. You can see their work ethic and compassion. I think about how, just a few years ago, that was me. 

How many of your coworkers are Concordia alumni?

I would say there is a good amount. The other day on PEDS alone there were seven of us working the floor and three of us were from Concordia.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Being a nurse, being where I am now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be and Concordia was the journey I had to take to get here. I don’t think I could handle the emotional and physical stress and work of a job without going to Concordia. I think it really, truly prepared me. I love the smaller class sizes and the connections built with the professors. Some days I didn’t like or understand how hard it was supposed to be, but I get it now.

Published March 2022