Grad Spotlight – Olivia Besgrove

Olivia Besgrove is a fourth generation tiger with a passion for helping others during life's biggest moments.

Olivia Besgrove is a fourth-generation Mizzou student and the first nurse in her family. Her great grandmother started the legacy. Then her grandmother, both parents and her sister attended and are now proud alumni. “We’re a Tiger family, and I love Mizzou,” she proclaims.

Besgrove knew how competitive the Sinclair School of Nursing (SSON) was when she arrived at Mizzou and made it her personal goal to be accepted into the program. She attributes her inspiration to become a nurse to her cousin, saying she would peek at her textbooks and poke fun at the intense terminology, but quickly realized she was intrigued.

Her hard work and determination paid off and she was accepted into the clinical program for January 2021. Upon entering the program, Besgrove was pleased that her classmates didn’t see each other as competitors, but rather as teammates. In particular, two students supported Besgrove during her nursing school journey. She recalls, “Kinzie and Kayla, we were each other’s right hands. We would study together all the time.”

Another important factor in her attitude for success was instructor Christyl Barnes. Besgrove recalls her sixth semester as her hardest. “I checked out mentally, and Christyl pulled me aside. We just talked,” she explained, “Christyl helped me realize that school and studying are important, but prioritizing your mental health is also important.” By the end of the semester, she found her groove again and was able to balance her schedule in a way that led her to succeed. She goes on to express her appreciation for Christyl’s catchphrase, “Confident and competent,” mentioning it felt silly to say in lab, but that Christyl helped her to truly embody the saying.

When she wasn’t in class or studying, Besgrove spent time working at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. She came to appreciate playing a role in such a significant time in someone’s life. “The patients and their families are going through something really difficult and are so grateful to nurses, staff – everyone,” she says, “It was an entirely different atmosphere of appreciation.” While she didn’t end up in the oncology field, she was able to bridge the gap between her passion for supporting people during life’s biggest moments to another of her values – women’s health. Besgrove explains, “Women’s health comes with so many unknown yet empowering aspects such as becoming a mother. I want to make sure that I can work to advance women’s care so that women feel comfortable and never fearful.”

During the seventh semester, Besgrove confirmed that labor and delivery was her field of choice. It’s something she feels she can give 110% no matter what’s happening in other parts of her life. “I am most excited to be able to provide excellent care so that mothers and families can focus on the importance of bonding with their new family,” she explains. Besgrove has plans to work as a labor and delivery nurse in Kansas City, where she’ll relocate shortly after graduation.

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