Graduate Spotlight: Kody Edwards

From patient to nurse, student Kody Edwards finds full circle moment as he enters his career as a Mizzou Made Nurse


In the heart of nursing, Kody Edwards exemplifies the fusion of personal resilience and professional commitment. From navigating his own health challenges to becoming a Mizzou Made Nurse, his journey was not just a career move, but a calling shaped by a lifetime of personal experiences.

Kody’s connection to nursing is rooted in his own encounters with health care. “I grew up in and out of hospitals, having more than 15 surgeries, and I wanted to be the one on the other side of the bed for once.” A traumatic incident at age two led to paralysis. Later, a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome would lead to more surgeries including hip replacements. These challenges fueled Kody’s determination to contribute to the well-being of others. The support he received during his medical struggles inspired his mission. “My mom is really excited to see me on the other side as a nurse instead of the patient. I wasn’t even supposed to walk again so things have really come full circle for us.” The empathy and assistance he experienced motivate Kody to provide the same care and compassion to others.

Reflecting on impactful nurses, Kody fondly recalls late-night collaborations and excitement to see them. “My neuro nurses still work there, still know who I am, so that’s always nice.” While he appreciates the impact his neuro team had on him, Kody envisions a different focus for his own nursing career. Approaching graduation, he looks forward to a multitude of nursing experiences. “ICU sounds great, all critical care areas. But I really like to stay on my toes, so I’m also interested in ER and emergency, and flight nursing sounds super cool.” 

Kody relied on a strong support system, particularly a group of peers led by Rachel Phelps. “Every test, lab and assignment, this group, especially Rachel Phelps, led our team to study. She loves helping with assignments, and if we had a problem, she’d make sure we got it right.” Post-graduation, Kody plans a much-needed break while he studies for the NCLEX. Expressing gratitude for the faculty’s crucial role in preparing him, he says, “I just want to thank the faculty. They were a huge help throughout all of this, making sure everyone was prepared.” As Kody prepares to embark on his nursing career, his story embodies the resilience, compassion, and transformative power that can only come from his unique journey from patient to nurse.


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