Seven years in the military honed nursing student Precious McGowan’s discipline, aiding the veteran in earning first a B.S. in biochemistry in 2016 and now a B.S. in nursing. McGowan joined the military after high school and served in Afghanistan, Korea and Germany. Self-described as a poor student in high school, McGowan graduated magna cum laude in biochemistry and likely will also graduate from nursing with honors.
“The military helped me to be disciplined,” said McGowan. “At Georgia State, I was able to apply that work ethic, and I felt that my professors were truly invested in my education, success and future career.”
McGowan balances classes, clinical rotations and work, with military-like precision. She currently manages coursework, a senior practicum at the Shepherd Center, and a job as a nurse assistant for a patient recovering from a stroke.
“I create a tight schedule of my time and I stick to the plan,” said McGowan.
She completed seven clinical rotations during her nursing studies, in diverse specialties that include psychiatric, pediatrics, and medical/surgical. She credits the Shepherd Center and Grady Memorial Hospital as the best learning experiences.
“At Shepherd, I learn ed the most about patient care because I stayed with the patients for an extensive period of time and got to know them,” said McGowan. “At Grady, I learned about the nursing practice challenges in a fast-paced environment with a variety of complex cases.”
McGowan is also deeply passionate about research, particularly in the field of neuroscience. While working as a research assistant to Dr. Ashley Helvig in nursing, McGowan presented their study about the differences in sleep patterns, by gender, for individuals with diabetes. Her interest in both diabetes and neurology stem from the experiences of family members.
“My grandmother died from diabetes before there was so much progress in treating it,” she said. “My husband suffered a traumatic brain injury from an accident, and I was amazed by how the brain works as I participated in his therapy and recovery.”
McGowan has employment offers from two Atlanta-area hospitals, one in neurology and the other in the ICU. She has not decided which position to accept but has ambitious plans for the future including pursuing a master’s degree to be a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and a Ph.D. in science or nursing.
McGowan is a member and mentor of the Nursing Students at Georgia State (NSGS), a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN). In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy watching movies.