Kayla Miller graduated from NL in 2008. She continued her studies at Penn State, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology in 2012 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2015. Miller began her nursing career at Pinnacle Health in Harrisburg as a Med-Surg nurse, and after six months, moved to their PRN (as-needed) nursing staff. During that time, she also began working at the Hershey Medical Center as part of the Surgical Intermediate Staff, earning a role as charge nurse. She also became a preceptor, training new staff in their duties. Miller later began work at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA, where she became a staff member of the newly-formed Trauma Intensive Care Unit.
Most recently, Miller took a leap into one of her career goals- working for a travel medical company called TotalMed. She travels around the country, to areas of her choice, for 13-week assignments in hospitals in need of extra help. At this time, Miller is working at NYU Langone Tisch/Kimmel in a COVID-19 intensive care unit. She has been caring for residents of New York City, from teens to the elderly, who are fighting the virus, many of whom are intubated or sedated to help their lungs function. In the midst of watching these patients struggle to stay alive, Miller has had the privilege of watching recovered patients leave the hospital, many of whom have been in the hospital for over a month. She reflects, “I have always wanted to make a positive impact on my patients and within the nursing field. I felt that New York was the perfect place to be able to do this. When I got there, the nurses were relieved to have help. They were exhausted at this point, taking on multiple patients at a time on life sustaining treatments. The appreciation from the staff and community has been something I will never forget. We have food donated daily from surrounding restaurants, kids send us in thank you cards they have made at home with their families, people come out on their porches at change of shift to cheer and show thanks for the staff. I will never forget this experience; this is the vision I had for myself as a nurse!”
Miller currently resides in Bradenton, Florida, but she finds herself living all over the country as part of her work. She receives a new assignment every three months, which could send her anywhere in the US that has a need. Miller’s parents, Tom and Heidi, also live in Florida, and her brother Michael is living with his family in California, serving in the Navy. Miller has a cat, Nala, who gets to travel along on work assignments. In her free time, Miller enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and going to Disneyworld. The thing that Miller most appreciated during her time at NL was “the support of faculty and staff… and the constant encouragement to accomplish my goals. I also appreciated the close community.” The following is Miller’s advice for current NL students: Always shoot for your dreams. Don’t let fear or any other negatives stop you! I was not the best test-taker as a student, and I had a nursing instructor who did not believe I could make it as a critical care nurse. I stand here today proving him wrong and have been a Critical Care Nurse for a year and a half now. Also, if at first you do not succeed, use that to light a fire within you and try again! I have had failures in my past that I used to inspire me to try even harder the second time, and with that fire, I came out even further on top. Never ever let somebody tell you can’t do something!