#UMMCGrad2023: School of Nursing graduate’s career to start in familiar place
Published on Monday, April 24, 2023
By: Annie Oeth, email@example.com
Photos By: Jay Ferchaud/ UMMC Communications
When Tanzi McAllister starts her career at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, she’ll work at 4 North in University Hospital, the area where she had worked as a nurse technician since 2021.
“They raised me as a nurse on 4 North,” she said of the medical-surgical floor that can also include step-down care. “When I arrived at UMMC, I thought I wanted to be an emergency department nurse. After working as a nurse tech and doing my student externship there in 2022, I learned that I liked to get to know my patients, especially my geriatric patients, during longer hospital stays.”
The 2023 School of Nursing graduate from Aberdeen said the experience of caring for patients as a technician convinced her she was in the right niche of nursing.
McAllister knew she wanted to be a nurse early on, helping her mother care for a relative with a seizure disorder.
“I would hear shaking and wake up and assess his condition,” she said. “This gave me care experience.”
Seeing her family member improve taught her an important lesson in care, that there’s hope. “I can tell patients that I know what they are going through is scary, but it can get better.”
Combined with McAllister’s heart for care is what McAllister describes as “a true passion for math and science.”
“If I didn’t study nursing,” she said, “I might have become a math and science teacher.”
After two years of study at the University of Mississippi, McAllister came to the School of Nursing at UMMC to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
One of McAllister’s favorite facets of nursing school was community service. “We performed health screenings for children at Jackson Public Schools. I’m not a pediatric nurse, but I love performing community outreach.”
Her interest in community health has McAllister considering earning a master’s degree in population health.
Dr. Farrah Evans, assistant professor of nursing and director of student life at UMMC’s School of Nursing, was an inspiration, McAllister said.
“She is an amazing mentor,” McAllister said. “She’s taught me about professionalism and has an open-door policy for students. She even helped me in getting my job.”
Evans said McAllister has a blend of intelligence and drive that will take her far in nursing.
“Tanzi and I connected immediately when she arrived at UMMC, because she is from a small hometown near where I was raised, and it is the home of my best friend,” Evans said. “From being her high school valedictorian to excelling in her studies at Ole Miss, Tanzi is a great example of perseverance. She works hard and still finds time to represent the School of Nursing as an ambassador, sharing information with others about being a student at UMMC’s School of Nursing. She is an exceptional student, and I know that she will be a wonderful and contributing asset to the nursing profession.”
Melissa Jackson, 4 North nurse manager, said the unit’s care team is looking forward to McAllister joining them in June.
“Tanzi has a really positive attitude, and nothing fazes her,” Jackson said. “She will be a wonderful nurse.”