Written by: Emma Baldwin, Senior English Major
JoEllen Hindman is driven to excellence.
From an early age, Hindman, a junior nursing major here at OKWU, wanted to take care of other people, and she eventually realized that it was God’s will for her to be a nurse. Since then, she has worked fervently to achieve it, and will continue to do so as she follows where God leads her.
As Hindman studies nursing, she lives in confidence that God will use her exactly as He wants to. “In my head, I don’t really have any other choice because I know I’ve been called to this,” she said. “It’s just more motivation, because I know this is what He made me to do.”
Hindman came to OKWU to focus on two of her passions: soccer—she loves all athletic things—and nursing. She became interested in the school because of soccer scholarships offered to her and because of OKWU’s nursing program. The doors opened, and she knew it was where God wanted her to be. After playing soccer for a short time, Hindman tore both of her knees in two consecutive years.
While Hindman misses playing, she maintains a good attitude, trying to focus on what she gained in stopping soccer. “I got closest to God here, when I was at college, actually through the injuries, because it was kind of like a wake-up call, like I was putting soccer over God,” she said. “I’ve never been closer to God because I finally realized nothing’s more important than Him, and anytime I try to put anything over Him, it’s just going to fail, and it did.”
This year, Hindman works as an RA, and she enjoys helping the students that she lives with. “I know you can be a leader without being … an actual titled leader, but I think it just puts me in a better spot to be open for conversation and open for people to come and ask me questions, and I love that because I’m a huge extrovert,” she said.
Hindman appreciates the outgoing nature of OKWU’s community, the attentiveness and care of the professors, and the personal size of the school.
“In my head, I don’t really have any other choice because I know I’ve been called to this. It’s just more motivation, because I know this is what He made me to do.“
“I think when I came here for my first tour when I was practicing with the soccer team, I felt peace about being on campus, and it just felt like home and like I was called to come here,” she said.
As a kid, Hindman wanted to be a teacher, but she realized that God had more for her. “It just wasn’t in His will,” she said. Her pursuit of nursing began with clinical experiences in ambulances and hospitals when she was working to earn her EMT license in high school. And even though she excels in the class work her major entails, she has to take rigorous classes and admits that she often does not show herself enough grace in her studies.
“I don’t have a lot of patience,” she said. “I cannot do anything without [God]. If I try to do it on my own, I will fail.”
Hindman’s goal is to work at a level-one trauma center, in which she would be looking after people with more serious injuries that cannot be taken care of in smaller hospitals. Though the job would be intense, she says she’s up for the challenge. She values nursing because she sees it as a ministry for her to truly care for those who are going through a hard time.
“I think it [nursing] is important because I get the opportunity to talk to people every single day, and I think it’s just a good opportunity that I have to … show God in myself,” she said.
Hindman hopes to move back home to Fort Worth, Texas, after she graduates next year. When she has time to herself, she enjoys spending it with friends and indulging her love of physical activities. More than anything, though, she recognizes the significance of the calling that God has placed on her life, and she hopes to fulfill that calling with skill in the nursing field.
“I felt peace about being on campus, and it just felt like home and like I was called to come here.”