NORFOLK, Neb. – A Northeast Community College student has set her sights on assisting others as a nurse. That vision began at an early age for Ellie Burkinshaw.
“Throughout high school, I worked at my local assisted living. This is where I really figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said. “I loved my job as a CNA (certified nurse assistant). Being able to interact with residents and brighten their day was an amazing feeling. And observing the nurses interact with the residents made me want to be able to do more.”
Burkinshaw, of Atkinson, is currently attending Northeast to obtain her Associate Degree in Nursing. Following graduation from the Norfolk college in May 2023, she plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska Medical Center to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Attaining her education will allow Burkinshaw to set out to further help people in her community.
“Once I get my degree, I plan to move back to a small town. Being close to my family is very important to me,” Burkinshaw said. “My family has supported me throughout my life and my schooling. Having a strong support system has greatly helped me to get to where I am today. I am excited to continue my educational journey and start my career as an RN.”
One of Burkinshaw’s instructors at Northeast calls her an excellent student.
“Ellie prepares for and participates in class and she is consistently motivated to learn and engages to ensure success,” said Mary Nelson. “She is a great example for her peers and is able to stay on task for in-class activities. She is self-motivated in her learning. Ellie is also respectful to others and a joy to have in class.”
For her work in and out of the classroom, Burkinshaw has been named Northeast’s TRIO Student of the Month for March. TRIO is a federally funded program that assists income-eligible individuals, first-generation college students and those with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline to post-baccalaureate programs. It also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment, and self-awareness.
"Ellie is very deserving of this honor," said Brandi Rossman, TRIO advisor. “She is a great role model for other TRIO students in many ways. She displays great leadership abilities, is driven and focused on her goals to become a nurse. Ellie participates in TRIO and always has a smile on her face. It has been an honor to work with Ellie to help her achieve her dreams and I know she will be an excellent caregiver and go on to have many accomplishments in her future.
Burkinshaw and other TRIO Student of the Month award recipients receive a plaque and have their photo placed on the program’s Achievement Recognition board in the TRIO office, which features the theme, True Leaders, which is defined as those who are first to strive and who give their all for the success of the team.
For more information on the TRIO program, visit northeast.edu/Support-Services/TRIO/.