Nursing student balances sports and studies at QU

A picture of Timothy Legemet in scrubs

Very few people at Quincy University can say they are an international student-athlete who is a male nursing major. Having to balance a year round sport and nursing classes while being apart from family is an everyday occurrence for Timothy Legemet

“Tuesday I have to get up around six in the morning. Then I have to go to the hospital for a lab, which is like a four hour class. After that I come back, take some lunch, then get ready for another class from 2:30-4:30pm. After I get done I have to go back and get to practice. Practice gets done around 6:30 to 7:00pm. Then I come home, make dinner and take a shower. Then I will do the reviews that I need to do, before going off to bed,” Legemet said. 

Legemet is a middle-distance runner on the track team at QU. He is originally from Kenya and transferred to QU to be allowed to major in nursing.

“I did not expect him to be a nursing major, I was expecting like maybe a business student or something. But to see that he is actually a nursing major and doing all of that work and stuff with track, it’s really impressive,” Nile Mclymont, a fellow teammate, said.

It is common practice in track and field to not allow runners to take on a nursing major. So track athletes who are nursing majors are pretty rare, especially those who compete in cross country and track season. Nursing is considered to be a major that takes up too much of an athlete’s schedule. 

“So you might have one homework, but how to do it really takes a lot of time. So for example on Mondays you have to prepare for clinicals. Preparing for that clinical can take you four to six hours to finish it. That is the assignment you have to finish before tomorrow morning, which is when you start the clinical. After clinical you have another homework, post-clinical. It’s more writing, just describing how you cared for your patient and everything. You also need to read, so nursing is all about reading and that reading is too much,” Legemet said. 

The sheer amount of work behind passing nursing classes is what often makes coaches tell athletes to pick another major. Especially as track meets may make the student-athlete miss their clinicals.

At QU it is even more difficult because the nursing major is not through the university. The majority of the core courses and clinicals are through Blessing-Rieman School College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

“When I first met Tim I think my first reaction about him was that I could tell he was a really good distance runner. When he said nursing I thought that was really cool because there are not a lot of male nurses. I think his schedule is very stressful because the nursing schedule is enough on its own, then the cross country and track schedule. I know his schedule is constantly busy, but he still puts in an equal amount of energy into each thing that he does,” Athena Lesiotis, a middle distance teammate, said. 

Legemet hopes to either stay in the U.S. or potentially take his knowledge back home to Kenya. As someone who was originally told by his former coach to switch majors, Legemet wishes other athletes would have the opportunity to join the medical field.

“I’m not gonna lie, I’ve got to say that sometimes you admit, oh my goodness is this really the decision that I made? But what really drives nursing students is passion. If you are really passionate about it, I think nursing is easy. It gets to a point you get where you want to give up, it’s hard, but when you have passion you get the determination to finish,” Legemet said.

Nursing, although a major available through Quincy University, is not a major that can be fully paid through school academic or athletic scholarships. Students, like Legemet, had to apply for scholarships through Blessing in order to receive financial aid.

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