Missouri State University
Kymberly Strange

Kymberly Strange

  • Major: Nursing
  • Hometown: Shreveport, Louisiana

From NICU parent to NICU nurse

A first-gen college student, Kymberly Strange is determined to succeed.

Strange, a Registered Nurse working in a level III surgical NICU in Shreveport, LA always knew she wanted to work in the medical field. It was when she delivered her son three months early, she knew she wanted to be a NICU nurse.

Byron, Strange’s now 13-year-old son, was born at 27 weeks and spent many months in the NICU. Byron has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hydrocephalus and other medical issues.

Strange and her husband have another son, Brayden (age 4), who was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old.

Strange lived the parent role in the NICU before becoming a NICU nurse. Her personal experience has helped her better relate to patients’ parents and provided her with inspiration to excel in her role.

Returning to school

With Strange’s husband in the military, getting her BSN was a top priority in the event they move. She doesn’t want to worry about limitations on employment opportunities.

“A lot of hospitals are starting to require a nurse to have a BSN or agree that they go back in a certain time frame to get their BSN,” said Strange.

Strange is the first in her immediate family to graduate from college. She currently has two national certifications, RNC-NIC (Registered Nurse Certified – Neonatal Intensive Care) and CNP-T (Certified Neonatal- Pediatric Transport).

She started MSU’s BSN Completion Program in January 2018 and is due to graduate this May.

“I started the program in January of 2018, during that time I had shoulder surgery and went back to work full-time after six months out. My son had brain surgery, my husband deployed for six months, we sold a house and bought a house. My husband came home for a month and then left again for three months for the military. I suffered from a bad depression during all that, but never gave up,” said Strange.

Strange thanks her family, co-workers, and the School of Nursing’s faculty and staff for supporting her in this journey.

“The last year and a half have been probably the hardest time in my life. I have been working full-time, going to school, taking care of my kids and taking them to many medical appointments, all while my husband was gone for 11 months of it due to the military obligations. I wanted to quit, it was overwhelming, but I was so determined to finish -- I was going to make it work no matter what,” said Strange.

“I hope that my passion, drive, and strength even when I doubted myself, will help inspire others to not give up.”

“The faculty and staff have been so amazing working with me and being understanding. I would not have been able to get this far if it wasn’t for the amazing instructors in the BSN-C program, and the support of my family and co-workers.”

Strange plans to stay in the NICU. Graduate school may also be in her future and possibly joining the military.

Strange’s son is due for another major surgery in June. She will make further plans after his recovery.

Advice to current students

“Work hard and don’t give up no matter how hard school or life gets. If you want something bad enough, there is always a way to make it happen. Don’t give up on your dreams, even if you must take longer than planned to reach your goal. Nursing school is hard, but it is worth it in the end,” said Strange.

“I have been a nurse for eight years now, and there is still nothing else I rather do. I love helping people and being there for my patients and their families. MSU has a great program. The instructors and staff really care about your success.”