Sometimes you have to find your own way. When Michael Morgan graduated high school, he knew he didn’t want to follow in his parents’ footsteps. His mom is a dental hygienist, and his dad has spent 30 years in a cardiac catheterization lab.
“My dad always said, ‘Health care will take you everywhere. Nursing will support you for the rest of your life. It’s a great career,’” Michael said. But it wasn’t for him, he says, because he can’t stand blood and guts.
The road less traveled
Instead, Michael set his sights on Western Michigan University for industrial design and then business. In 2008, he was studying Mandarin Chinese for international business and striving for a double major. But after hundreds of hours of studying, he realized it wasn’t for him. He couldn’t imagine doing sales or business down the road. So, Michael quit college and took a break.
Michael’s dad helped him get a job where he worked at the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Michael worked as a transport tech in the ER and in other support roles. That’s when he changed his mind about health care.
“From day one, I fell in love with it,” Michael said. “I was able to impact people’s lives on a daily basis. I was able to put a smile on their face even after talking with them just a few minutes. I knew it would be satisfying long-term.”
Devotion to others
Michael’s now been in health care more than a decade. In 2014, after visiting a friend in Colorado, he decided to move here. He found work at Sky Ridge Medical Center in women’s services. Then a year later, Michael decided he wanted to be a nurse. So, he applied at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) for a two-year nursing degree (ADN). There, he discovered ACC has a partnership with the University of Colorado (RN to BSN track) which would simultaneously put him on track to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing.
This past May, Michael earned his associate’s degree at ACC. He’ll also receive a RN-BSN at the University of Colorado Anschutz Campus College of Nursing on December 12, 2020.
Blood and guts
Nursing is now his passion. He recently landed a job as a nurse in the ICU at Sky Ridge. But it makes one wonder, what about all of those blood and guts?
“I think it was initially a misunderstanding of what it means to be in health care. Sure, you can’t avoid that stuff. But it’s a lot more than just that. It’s really about the other aspects of nursing, like the compassion you share with patients, the impact you make on their lives on a daily basis, and the relationships you develop with them and your colleagues.”
He says his parents are proud that he discovered his life’s purpose in health care. While he credits them for always knowing the right path he should take, he’s grateful for their wisdom to let him find his own way to it.
“It was full circle and gratifying. At the time, I said ‘No, I’m going my own way,’ but then turned around and got into nursing. I needed to have that insight. There’s so much more drive and personal satisfaction because I brought myself to this place instead of someone pushing me to it.”