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May 14, 2012
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

School of Nursing graduate feature — Mission work inspires student for new career

Topeka, Kan. — After spending a year in pharmacy school and working construction for his step-father after graduating from Yates Center High School in 1999, Steve Collins believes he was destined for career helping others in need. A mission trip to China four years ago inspired him to pursue nursing as a profession.Steve-Collins1

“During my time working in China I decided I really wanted to be in the care of people and build relationships with them,” said Collins, an honor student who will graduate from Baker’s School of Nursing on Sunday, May 20. “Nursing allows you to do a wide variety of things and enables you to connect with patients. You are not allowed to get in those peoples’ lives unless you are a nurse.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Baker, Collins envisions a time when he and his wife, Rachel, will work overseas.  With Steve’s nursing skills and Rachel’s background in occupational therapy, the two are determined to help with a medical mission and reach those in need.”

“We see ourselves starting a clinic that will do holistic care,” Steve said. “We want to teach the locals and provide them roles in their communities. Sometimes the poorest of the poor are looked down upon. If we give the natives roles and tasks, we will help them be respected. Our biggest goal is to further the kingdom of God. The medical mission will open so many doors, empower people and influence a community.”

With his wife working full time in Shawnee, Kan., Steve was able to focus on his nursing classes. For two years, he commuted two hours daily to Topeka and back to Shawnee.

“Rachel helped provide for us and it allowed me to focus on my studies,” he said.

While at the School of Nursing at Stormont-Vail in Topeka, Steve valued the clinical work. He took pride in caring for patients in the intensive care unit.

“I really enjoyed the time working independently with patients and I liked the small class sizes,” he said. “The teacher-to-student ratio creates a quality learning environment. I appreciate the Baker School of Nursing. The teachers have been really helpful in providing a direction for my goals.”

Baker’s nursing professors and administrators are eager to follow Collins’ career.

“Steve is an excellent academic student,” said Loanne Martin, program coordinator at the School of Nursing. “He is very caring and has excellent clinical skills. He is very goal driven and dedicated.”


Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.