From Bristol to Rochester: Shelbey Walker ’23 Heads to Work at Mayo Clinic
When Shelbey Walker chose to attend King University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, the only thing she was a bit apprehensive about it was how far it was from her home in Texas.
Moving almost 20 hours away from her family posed a significant challenge, but happily she found her home away from home in Bristol.
“My experience at King has been transformative,” said Walker, who graduated in December 2023 and passed her NCLEX on the first try in January 2024. “The warm welcome from both professors and my nursing cohort created a supportive environment. Throughout the program, I had the opportunity to tackle challenging projects and take on leadership roles, contributing to my personal and professional growth. My professors were instrumental in providing guidance and support, ensuring not only my academic success but also my mental well-being.”
Walker says that success in the classroom led to her latest achievement and another big move: heading to work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, one of the nation’s top health care employers.
In her final semester of nursing school, she and her husband started searching for jobs. After conducting extensive research on nurse residency programs, Walker was most impressed by the Mayo Clinic, which she considers to be the best in the country. Even though she had already received a job offer from the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, she felt compelled to apply to the nurse residency program at Mayo.
“My application caught the attention of their Nursing Placement Coordinator,” said Walker. “I had the opportunity to share my studies at King, which included involvement in a tiered nurse intern program with Ballad Health. This program allowed me to gain work experience in different areas of the hospital and work one-on-one with a registered nurse for eight weeks in my chosen specialty.
“This unique experience seemed to resonate with the Nursing Placement Coordinator. After reviewing my resume, the coordinator scheduled an interview for me with both him and the Emergency Department nursing education management. A few days after the interview, I was thrilled to receive an offer from the Mayo Clinic, and I am eager to bring my skills and passion for nursing to this renowned institution and contribute to the exceptional care they provide,” she said.
Walker, who will participate in the New Graduate Emergency Room Nurse Residency Program, will be working on the medical-surgical floor in the initial phase of the program. Afterward, she will transition to the Emergency Department.
She’s excited to begin work as an ER nurse, which she plans on doing for at least five years in hopes of gaining invaluable experience in high-pressure and dynamic healthcare settings. And then?
“I am passionate about mental health nursing, and I plan to return to school to pursue a dual degree – a PMHNP (Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner) and a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice),” Walker said. “This educational pathway will enable me to seamlessly integrate my expertise in emergency care with a focus on mental health services. My long-term vision is to contribute to both the Emergency Room and outpatient mental healthcare settings. I am excited about the prospect of furthering my education and expanding my skill set to make a meaningful impact on patient’s lives in both emergency and mental health contexts.”
While she’s excited to begin her career, Walker is also thankful for her time at King University.
“As I reflect on my time at King, I am grateful for the valuable skills and experiences gained, such as serving as my Cohort representative, Student Nurse Association president, and working on implementing the Mental Health First Aid program, which I believe will be pivotal in my role as a new grad nurse at the Mayo Clinic,” said Walker. “If given the chance, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose King University again for the solid foundation it has provided me.”