Most people spend their personal and professional lives avoiding stress. Not so for David Keeler of Kearney, Mo. During his time at Jewell, David discovered a rare ability to thrive under pressure. He graduated in May 2011 from the BSN Accelerated Track, but his Jewell Journey started on a different path.
David's first time at Jewell was in the rigorous science and technology management major, which combines chemistry, biology and business courses to prepare students for careers in the modern workforce. “You can’t just get by at Jewell,” he said. “You have to work hard. You have to do what is required of you and then some.”
David was pushed both on campus and off. He served as president of the Intra-Fraternity Council, overseeing significant changes to the Rush system, and was one of the youngest-ever presidents of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, as a sophomore. Immediately following his term as president, David undertook another exhilarating experience. For two weeks, he and his fellow Pryor Leadership Fellows charted the Florida Everglades as part of the Outward Bound program. For David, the solo component of Outward Bound – a day spent entirely alone to fend for oneself – was an opportunity to decompress and think about the future. “You’re sitting on the sand, the ocean’s next to you, and all you’ve got is time,” he said. “There’s not much of a better atmosphere to evaluate where you’re at and where you want to go.”
It was during this time, after paddling through the Everglades for days on end, that David realized something about himself. “I actually enjoy being stressed,” he said.
Rather than pursuing a career as a dentist as he originally expected, David committed to fill one of the most demanding positions in the medical field: a flight nurse. This career requires highly-trained registered nurses to deal with various emergencies under intense conditions in a helicopter. Becoming a flight nurse is an invitation for stress.
He graduated with a BS degree, then enrolled in Jewell’s BSN Accelerated Track. At Jewell, David not only uncovered his rare gift to thrive under pressure, but he found a career path that will harness this ability to help others. It’s a discovery he appreciates.