Caleb Huettenmeyer, a fourth-year student graduating from Missouri State University’s School of Nursing, looks forward to what the future holds after graduation.
“I’ve put in a lot of time, effort and work toward getting my degree,” Huettenmeyer said. “I’m excited to put everything I’ve learned into action.”
Huettenmeyer secured a job at the prestigious Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis as an emergency room (ER) nurse.
“They’re ranked number one in Missouri and 11th in the country, so it seems like an incredible opportunity to work with them,” he said.
His goal is to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) the second week of June before he begins this position.
Preparation for becoming a nurse
Coming to MSU in fall 2019, Huettenmeyer completed his two years of pre-requisites and then applied to the nursing program in January 2021. After an extensive interview process, he was accepted as one of 48 out of over 150 applicants—beginning his journey through nursing school in fall 2021.
Huettenmeyer began officially as a patient care associate (PCA), then transitioned to a nurse technician on the floor a few months later. Since August 2022, the rest of his nursing school days have been filled with work as an ER nurse technician at Mercy Hospital.
“This past semester, I’ve been working almost every weekend,” he said. “I love the work, but it’s an intense job.”
Typically, nursing students are expected to be on the floor as a general nurse technician before specializing. However, because of nursing shortages and his passion for the specialty, Huettenmeyer was able to nab the ER nurse technician position almost immediately.
“I was rejected twice before meeting with them in person and persuading them to let me prove myself,” Huettenmeyer said. “They hired me soon after.”
For four years, Huettenmeyer has kept the secret of being our beloved Boomer bear.
“It was like leading a double life. I’m excited to finally share the surprise with my friends at school when I wear the feet to graduation,” Huettenmeyer said.
“I never got to go to a tailgate as myself, so I’m excited to return as an alumnus.”
In addition to being Boomer, he was:
- A resident assistant (RA) for Wells House, which allows him to graduate debt-free.
- The social media manager for the Brohort.
- A recipient of the Centennial Leaders Scholarship.
- A member of the Student Nursing Organization (SNO).
After Barnes-Jewish, Huettenmeyer would like to transfer to an ICU somewhere and then become a flight nurse. The 10-year plan has him becoming a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) sometime in his 30s.
“I’m ready to move on to the next chapter,” Huettenmeyer said.
“The past two years have had some rough spots, but the friends I’ve made at Missouri State truly got me through it.”