Some people say they choose their careers and will easily tell you why. However, Michael suggests that a career in nursing chose him. He was born into a family that required annual ICU visits and weekly home health nursing visits. The home health nurses would teach him basic nursing skills like medication management, nasogastric tube feedings, advocating, and education. For the majority of the week it was Michael’s responsibility to care for both his brothers and mother.
Michael admits that it was a struggle to accept his calling in nursing because of the stigma which surrounds this female-dominated field. He first decided on a career in physical therapy, but quickly realized that he needed a more hands on approach to the complete patient and not just their physical limitations. Again, nursing came to the forefront of his mind. However, Michael applied to a physician assistant (PA) program in Las Vegas. After being accepted he and his wife traveled to Colorado to visit family.
While in town visiting family, he passed the Anschutz Medical Campus on the way to his sister-in-laws and looked up the degree offerings. Again nursing was an option, but Michael struggled with the question “Do I want to go into nursing?” The number of male nurses, although growing, is low, and he had already been accepted into PA school. After meeting with Connie Franklin at the College of Nursing and discussing the intriguing world of nursing, he inquired about the application process. With just days until the deadline and all the necessary items (except for a letter) to apply, Michael finally overcame the stigma of male nursing and applied to the BS-Nursing program.
Michael wants to work in the Cardiothoracic ICU and eventually go back to school and earn a Doctorate degree in Nursing Anesthesia and become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA). While CRNAs have less patient interaction compare to other advanced practice areas Michael admits that it’s not the interaction, but the care for patients that are considered most vulnerable that attracted him to this particular field of nursing.
Prior to committing to a career in nursing, Michael worked as a personal trainer. He mostly worked with healthy people, but was interested in how nutrition and medical history affected his clients. Especially after his wife (Alisha) developed preeclampsia while pregnant with their daughter. Her doctor told her to exercise, but Michael did not feel confident or comfortable in creating an exercise program for her and realized that there was a gap in care for patients related to exercise and healthcare. In order to solve this problem Michael created a software application related to his work as a personal trainer, which assessed users’ individual health situations. It measured users’ complete medical history, nutrition status, and activity level. In creating the application, Jones academically researched medical history and created an equation he hoped would accurately represent users’ personal medical history. He then asked a physician friend to review his work, and in the end, his application was a success. The physician and Michael formalized the application into a business and after a few years Michael grew tired of the business world, and wanted to further his education in healthcare.
Now, as part of the College of Nursing, Michael is completing his traditional bachelor of science as one step toward his future goals. He is also the class representative for the Undergraduate Curriculum and Evaluation Committee (UCEC) and the newly appointed Vice President of Diversity for the Student Senate. He wants “to challenge everyone to be the best they can be” and “treat your patients as a person and not a number or disease.”