Monique De Nysschen

Editor’s Note: Spotlight Students are nominated by staff and faculty at WSU Spokane and were recognized during commencement for their dedication, commitment, sacrifice and/or ability to overcome great odds to succeed as a student. They are selected by a committee ahead of commencement. WSU Spokane will feature a Spotlight Student each day through May 13.

Earning a doctoral degree in nursing is hard enough. Doing so while overcoming a language barrier, health issues and two car accidents makes the journey even more difficult.

Monique De Nysschen overcame all of those and graduated last week with her Doctor of Nursing Practice from the WSU College of Nursing.

Originally from South Africa, De Nysschen had to work twice as hard to understand the American culture and language. She had ear surgeries each year of her studies and totaled two cars along the way (“I know what the deer in the headlight looks like, literally,” she said.).

“This DNP program has taught me that the essence of a leader is to shine the light on others,” De Nysschen said. “I will strive to keep brightening the corner wherever I happen to be.”

The College of Nursing featured De Nysschen last year in this Q&A.

She worked as a teaching assistant and clinical supervisor for undergraduate nursing students and supervised them in simulation labs. De Nysschen participated in a research symposium in 2011 at the University of Texas in Brownsville.

Away from campus, De Nysschen is a church volunteer for health seminars and screenings. She was also a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis awareness and even completed a 150-mile bike ride in 2014 for the cause.

“She is an amazing nurse, clinical instructor and student who has worked tirelessly for her patients and her students,” her nominator wrote. “Monique always thinks of others before herself, even on her hardest days.”

De Nysschen said her past experiences have taught her the value of an education. Because of that, she would like to be an educator in both a university and hospital setting.