You could say that siblings Matt and Katie Buhr have nursing “in their blood.”
The St. Louis natives, both of whom are currently in the nursing program at Southeast Missouri State University, were exposed to the profession early on, growing up in a home where both parents were nurses. Although both brother and sister eventually decided to follow the same career path, Katie, who is currently a junior in the nursing program, initially planned to major in special education.
“As much as I wanted to continue in that area, I wanted something a little different,” she said. “I have always been into science, good health practices and caring for the elderly. I had some experience volunteering in a retirement center during high school and absolutely loved it. I also was interested in working with children with special needs, and I knew that I could go that direction with nursing as well. I thought nursing, with all the opportunities it offers, would be the best option for me,” Katie said. “I already knew about the program from what Matt would tell me, and I felt like it would be as good a fit for me as it is for him,” she added.
Matt, a senior in the program, chose nursing because of the numerous job opportunities and his parents’ influence.
“Nurses can work wherever they want, and have many specialties they can explore,” he said. “I wanted a career that would be challenging and rewarding,” he added.
Both brother and sister enjoy being in the program together, although since they entered the program at different times, they don’t share any classes.
“I find it comforting when I run into Matt, either at the hospital or at our ‘second home,’ which is how I refer to Crisp Hall of Nursing,” Katie said. “It is nice to have family close by because they know you the best. We rely on one another a great deal, and I think we are much closer than we have ever been,” she said.
In addition to strengthening their family bond, both have developed other special friendships as well.
“My brother’s girlfriend Amanda, who is in my nursing class, is also my best friend,” Katie said. “We are so much alike that our instructors and classmates often get us confused.” Having so many people close to you in the same profession is an added perk, according to Matt.
“We can easily talk about healthcare and have interesting stories to share. The three of us have had some very funny stories to tell my parents, which they can easily relate to,” he said.
Katie and Matt are both still contemplating their specific career goals within the nursing field.