Alyssa Siller has always wanted to make a difference in people’s wellness. The 2021 graduate is currently working as an RN at Sundance Inn Health Center in New Braunfels while awaiting her active-duty orders as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp. Siller is excited to begin the next part of her journey after being involved in ROTC for 2 ½ years while going to TLU.
Not only did she see how much nurses were in demand and how she would have constant opportunities in the ever-changing landscape of health care, but she also saw how rewarding the work could be.
“I am proud to say I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college and the first cross-enrolled student at TLU in Texas State University’s ROTC that is also a nursing major to commission as a 2nd Lieutenant,” Siller said. “When I started ROTC, I had a brigade nurse who helped guide me throughout nursing school to make sure I was staying on track and was always there if I needed advice. I really enjoy structure and I know I’ll have a great career path in the military, especially as a nurse. I will be able to experience things and training most civilian nurses won’t ever get the opportunity to do.”
Siller is honest about how much work nursing school is and she hopes her story will inspire others prospective students as an example that anything is possible when you are committed to your goals.
“It definitely takes dedication and communication, but you have to be willing to put in the work,” she said. “If I didn’t have the nursing professors or cadre while going on this journey, I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish everything I have. I loved having small classes and my professors really developed relationships with me so I could be successful in the program. They were very encouraging and always helped work around my ROTC schedule.”
Despite beginning nursing school right when the pandemic started, Siller says she didn’t let that stop her even though it was very challenging.
“Nursing school, by any means, is not something that should be online,” she said. “It was very difficult to sit at the computer for up to eight hours a day to listen to a lecture or even be motivated to get up to just get on your computer. We must understand that health care is always changing and that was just part of the job at the time.
Even when you’re pushed to your limits, Siller wants prospective nursing students to be proud that they’re even going to school to be a nurse so they can make a positive impact on other people’s lives.
“Soak up all the knowledge and learn from every patient you encounter,” she said. “Nursing is a hard major to accomplish, but you can do it because all the challenges you encounter will only make you better. Do not let a failed test or missed skill define you.”
She plans to eventually earn her master’s degree after a couple of years and would eventually like to specialize in emergency department or “flight” nursing. Her goal is to make the military her career and serve a full 20 years or more and take every advantage of every possible opportunity.
“My advice to students is that you should always look at the bigger picture because at the end of the day, a couple years of hard work can lead you to a lifetime of success,” she said. “There were many times I wanted to give up because it was exhausting, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t stick it out. I am forever grateful to all the mentors I had who didn’t let me give up. So many times, I have been told, ‘bloom where you are planted’ and it’s been eye-opening for me. If you have the dedication and resilience, you can do anything.”