The Importance of Teamwork – Meet PNW Graduate Tayler Vauters

May 14, 2021

Tayler Vauters, ’21, felt called to help people. A self-described people person, she was torn between becoming a teacher or a nurse. “I chose nursing,” says Vauters. “In nursing I will be able to teach within the field while also helping people. Once I started classes I just knew this is what I wanted to do. Now I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Once Vauters decided on nursing, Purdue University Northwest (PNW) was an easy choice. As a top ranked nursing school, PNW checked off one of her requirements as well as a few others. “I knew I didn’t want to be too far away from home,” says the Rockville, Ind., native. “However, I did want a change of scenery. I also wanted to play basketball. Everything kind of fell into place at the right time and Purdue Northwest ended up being perfect for me.”

Competing and Caring

As a four-year member of the PNW Pride women’s basketball team, Vauters learned as much on the court as she did off. “Basketball taught me a lot,” says Vauters. “Being able to make it through nursing and basketball together taught me skills that helped me balance school and athletics, and that I will be able to apply in my nursing career.” Time management, organization and teamwork were the key skills Vauters was able to develop and harness to ensure her success at PNW.

Self-confidence was another skill Vauters was able to transfer from the basketball court to the classroom. For a brief moment in the beginning of her second year, she found herself in an extremely difficult nursing class. At the time she worried not only if she would be able to get through the class, but whether she’d make it through the nursing program. “Believing in myself and being confident in what I knew was part of what helped me get through,” remembers Vauters. She credits the small classroom size, the close-knit nursing school community, and the availability and willingness of the faculty to help students, with her ability to regain her confidence.

A Second Squad

While a valued member of the basketball team, Vauters formed another team at PNW. “Once we were into our nursing program, a bunch of us formed a group,” says Vauters. “We were by each other’s sides the whole entire time – to study, talk about exams. If someone was on the verge of not passing, we figured out how we could help them. These are people I can rely on and know will be there for me no matter what.”

Vauters will begin her nursing career as a general surgery nurse at St. Catherine’s Hospital in East Chicago. In the future she would like to further her education and become a nurse practitioner, with her ultimate goal to work in labor and delivery.

Vauters had some parting advice for the next class of nursing students: “Enjoy your time here, have fun and take advantage of all the opportunities you have to go into the lab. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be ready to grow and learn.”

Who Inspired You?

Courtney Locke, Head Coach, Women’s Basketball Program

“My coach was huge in always supporting us, supporting me both on and off the court. She was very understanding in that nursing was going to take a little extra, and always okay with whatever that was going to take in regards to basketball.”