Journey to Miami Regionals: The making of a nurse

Amberly Larkin in her cap and gown look down at her godson Nathan.

Amberly Larkin with her godson Nathan.

Like many nursing students, Amberly Larkin was inspired to the career by watching good nurses at work.

In her case, she was 14 years old and witnessing the birth of her godson.

“I got to help cut the cord and see the nurses do their stuff,” she said, “and I thought, ‘This is cool! I want to do this!’”

Like many other first-generation students, she wasn’t able to turn to her family for help in getting there. She has an older brother who went to college, but he had moved out of the country when she was still very young.

“My family, they don’t really get it,” she said. “Nobody in my family really has a career. They have jobs. If they lose one job, they get another job, which is difficult when providing for families, and I get it.”

“So when I was in high school, I didn’t really know what college was and I didn’t know what you did,” she said. “I didn’t know what a  FAFSA was. I didn’t know how to apply for classes. I just kind of felt lost.”

Fortunately, she had a teacher at Butler Tech who recognized her potential and took Amberly under her wing.

“She basically told me, ‘If you don’t do this, then I’m going to sign you up myself.’ She had me meet her one day after class and she printed out Miami’s application and we filled it out together.”

When they calculated the FAFSA and found out that she qualified for enough money to basically pay for her whole college career, Amberly felt like it was a sign she could not ignore.

Amberly Larkin sitting down in gown and holding her cap.

“I am meant to go,” she thought, and as a graduate of Edgewood High School and Butler Tech, the Miami Regionals' Hamilton campus seemed like the obvious place to learn how to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

And as a first-generation college student, it also felt like a safe choice.

“I didn’t really know what was out there, but it was close by, so I could still live at home. I went where I felt comfortable and I’m so glad I’m here.”

She found an off-campus job in a nursing-related area as a patient care assistant at Children’s Hospital in Liberty Township and is hoping that she’ll be able to get a job there upon graduation as a nurse.

“I’ve got my foot in the door,” she said, “but we’re still in the process of interviewing.”

She wants to spend a few years in the field, then return to school for a master’s degree and eventually a doctorate. She said she can see herself helping other aspiring nurses to live out their dreams.

“College was hard, but I’m so glad I did it and I wouldn’t take it back for the world,” she said. “There were times I cried and got frustrated and wanted to quit on a daily basis, but every day is a new day and you take it day by day and get through.

“At first, it seems impossible,” Amberly said, “but it’s not. You just have to do it.”

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  • Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    MiamiOH.edu

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    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • E-Campus

    E-Campus at Miami Regionals

    Miami University Regionals' online programs are designed to offer students the richness of a premier education and the flexibility of learning at the location of their choice. Whether you are interested in a single course or an entire degree, we have a path to success for you.

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    Hamilton: 559 Mosler Hall 
    Middletown: 101 Thesken Hall 
    Ecampus@MiamiOH.edu
    513-217-4003

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  • West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

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  • Middletown

    Miami University Middletown Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Miami University Middletown Campus
    4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042

    Greentree Health Science Academy
    5757 Innovation Drive
    Middletown, Ohio 45005

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/regionals/emergency

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  • Hamilton

    Miami University Hamilton Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011

    MiamiOH.edu/regionals

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
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