Melissa Calvin Rouse began her journey at Alcorn State’s Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing as a way to move ahead in her career and build a better life for her family.

She recently accepted a position at Merit Health Natchez.

“I decided to accept the job offer from Merit Health Natchez because it has been a lifelong dream of mine to work beside my mother and help bring life into the world,” said Rouse.  

Rouse has long hoped to join the nursing ranks after growing up watching her mom.

“Nursing is my career choice as I grew up watching my mother provide care to others and the joy she had after every shift,” said Rouse.

The Natchez, Miss. native, expressed her happiness and pride about continuing her family’s legacy of working in the nursing profession.

“I have no words to express the joy I feel about working alongside my mother in the place where she began her nursing career, following her footsteps, and beginning my career there,” she said.

Balancing the demands of being a single mother of two children, classes, and working, Rouse persevered to earn her degree in this weekend’s upcoming graduation ceremony.

“Some challenges that I endured during my time at Alcorn included working two jobs and being a full-time student,” said Rouse. I also juggled the everyday struggles of being a single mother of two children.”

Reflecting on her time at Alcorn, she believes she has the tools needed to succeed in nursing.

“Alcorn has provided me with a well-rounded education and helped me develop the skills and knowledge to be successful. My clinicals helped me gain real-world experiences, which I think will help me excel in my new role as a registered nurse.”

Her advice for future Alcorn State nursing students is “to never give up and keep a positive attitude. The curriculum can be challenging but well worth it!”

“As for my future, I may aspire to getting my master’s degree and coming back to teach prospective nursing students at Alcorn School of Nursing, said Rouse.