Meet Rylee B.

Rylee Barkey
Rylee Barkey
Bachelor of Science Program, Morgantown Campus

What made you consider nursing as a program of study?

I considered nursing as a program of study after setting up a job shadow at Ruby Memorial Hospital while I was still in high school. While in high school, I still wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do, but after my day of job shadowing, I really learned what an important role the nurse plays in these patients and families' lives.

Did you have an ah-ha moment about wanting to become a nurse?

From having seen family members in the hospital during my teenage years, I realized just how much a nurse can change a situation and help others. I had seen how the nurse can be soothing, compassionate, caring and exhibit an incredible amount of qualities needed during such scary times for these patients and families. 

I especially knew I was in the right field after one of my clinical days in my junior level nursing semesters. I will never forget I had a patient who was alone and was a younger gentleman who was worried his cancer was back. During the day, he had told me he was very anxious and would love if I just sat and talked to him. I told him I most definitely could do that as we only get a one patient assignment at that clinical level. I pulled up a chair and we sat and talked the whole morning.

The doctors ended up telling him while I was in the room that the cancer was back, and he needed induction chemotherapy and they were moving to the bone marrow transplant unit. I will never forget this day as I stayed as strong as possible for the patient, but I remember just how hard it hit me as the student nurse, let alone the patient and family. I know I was able to truly be there to comfort him up until this devastating diagnosis. From that day forward, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to be.

Why did you choose WVU School of Nursing? 

I chose WVU School of Nursing because it is where I felt most at home. Everyone within the school and people within the community seemed the most welcoming, so that is ultimately why I chose WVU to call home.

WVU School of Nursing was set apart from other colleges for several reasons — first being I loved the recruiters that I spoke to at WVU, and I loved the campus. My favorite thing being that WVU School of Nursing had a highly ranked skills lab as well as the hospital connecting to Health Science Center. This was appealing to me as a lot of schools would have clinical at other hospitals that may be 30 minutes to an hour away.

Could you share a positive experience from your time at the SON?

I have several positive experiences from my time here at the School of Nursing. I think to all of the friendships I have made, being able to help patients in all the different areas of the hospital and learning from incredible professors! I truly am so grateful for my time here at West Virginia University and within the School of Nursing.

I think that the School of Nursing has not only prepared me for my future as a nurse but also I have seen how much I have grown as a person! I appreciate how rigorous the course work is here at the School of Nursing, as I think it helps us learn time management, being responsible, accountable and reliable. These are all qualities that are crucial to learn in order to succeed as an adult and having a career. I will forever be grateful for what West Virginia University’s School of Nursing has taught me!

What’s one piece of advice you would give your freshman self?

One piece of advice I would give to my freshman self would be to believe in yourself and find a balance that works for you! I think it is so important to have a balance and getting to meet new friends on campus but also taking your academics seriously. I also think that I often found myself talking down and not believing I could get the grades I wanted to achieve. I quickly learned that when you put in the effort, meet with professors, seek help anything is possible here at WVU!

What are your plans after graduation?

My plans after graduation are to work in either Labor & Delivery or Post-Partum at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital!

How do you feel WVU prepared you for your next chapter?

I feel that WVU has prepared me very well for my next chapter. From seeing how I do on ATI exams, NCLEX predictors, how I feel in regards to my skills, communication, and confidence I most definitely feel WVU has prepared me well. I think the skills and information I have learned from my incredible nursing instructors and clinical instructors throughout my time here has left me feeling incredibly prepared to take my NCLEX and begin my career!