Kyra Betts MSN, CNM
OBGYN Associates - Certified Nurse Midwife in Columbus, Indiana
Frontier Nursing University - MSN 2022
A passion for helping others is what often attracts people to a job in healthcare. Kyra Betts, MSN, CNM, planned to be a doctor until an experience as a patient herself made her realize how much more of a one-on-one relationship nurses have with patients. A true nurse at heart, she wanted to make a difference in the lives of patients not just medically but also personally. That is why she decided to switch up her plans and become a nursing student after graduating college—even though she’d spent most of her undergraduate career focused on pre-med courses and getting into medical school.
Kyra graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 2018 and then went on to work at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis before becoming a travel nurse. Kyra then continued her education at Frontier Nursing University. In 2022, she graduated with a Master of Science in nursing.
Now a certified nurse midwife, Kyra is passionate about being the hands and feet of God as she helps to bring new life into the world with OBGYN Associates through Columbus Regional Health. She is also proud to help educate new mothers, something she believes is part of the solution to Indiana’s high mortality rate.
Learn more in the Q & A below!
WHY DID YOU BECOME A NURSE?
I decided to become a nurse because I realized during my first experience [having a child] that I actually interacted more with my nurses, and I really appreciated that. Even throughout the pregnancy and appointments, you get a lot of interactions with your nurses and then during the process, the doctor slides in at the end and slides back out…So you get to know your nurses really well.
Initially, I was a biology major because I was actually going to be pre-med. I switched to general studies, graduated in May of 2014 and started nursing school in January of 2015.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY FROM NURSING SCHOOL?
The graduation ceremony was probably my favorite. The tangible way we hand out roses to those that supported us throughout our nursing journey is very special. I gave my roses to my mom and Carol Dobson who was one of my academic advisors and professors. Carol followed me through my whole nursing school process.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO GO TO ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING?
It’s at home. I lived in Lafayette, so when I graduated from IU Bloomington, just trying to decide my plan afterward, I decided to come back home. I was pregnant with my kiddo while I was still at IU Bloomington, which is how I got exposed to nursing. After I delivered, I graduated and knew I was coming back home, and my research led me to St. Elizabeth. St. Elizabeth made it very easy for me to apply and get in and do all the things I needed based on credits I’d already received.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
St. Elizabeth School of Nursing not only prepared me clinically, but also helped me to grow as a person. The program pushes you intellectually but also professionally and personally. I am the person I am today, and have the love for continuing education I do, because of St. Elizabeth School of Nursing.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW NURSES?
Give yourself some grace. Nursing school graduates generalists—that’s what we’re taught. We get to see a little bit of everything and then when you hammer down what your passion is and you work on that unit, you learn what you need for that unit. If it was easy to grab right away, it would have been part of the basic curriculum. There are things that are very unit specific, and we give ourselves a hard time because we feel like we should be farther along after three, four, five months, but we’re taking care of lives, so we need to give ourselves some grace and know that it’s a learning curve. And keep asking questions! A nurse who doesn’t ask questions scares me.
HOW DID ST. ELIZABETH SCHOOL OF NURSING PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER?
I actually really loved going into clinicals right away. I think that was the main thing that gave me some confidence with my bedside manner. They made it very okay for me to know I don’t know something, acknowledge I don’t know something and know where to go ask. Even with patients, to say, “Hey, let me find that for you.” It felt like I was very well supported.
IF YOU WEREN’T A NURSE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
The original plan was to go to med school, but I think in the process of doing all of this, it has unlocked a passion for educating, so maybe a professor.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN THE FIELD AFTER YOU COMPLETED YOUR DEGREE?
I actually went straight into L&D (Labor and Delivery). I knew during school, that that’s where my heart was. I was excited when clinical hours came around and it solidified that for me. When I graduated, I immediately applied to Methodist in downtown Indianapolis…I was super excited, I had that job secured before I graduated.
ARE YOU STILL THERE?
No, I left Methodist in 2021 to travel nurse, and so I’ve been to multiple different L&Ds and then I just graduated from a master’s program and now I’m a midwife in Columbus, Indiana.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT JOB?
I love being part of the process of giving moms as close to what their ideal birth story looks like as possible. I like to sit, I like to connect with people, I like to be assuring, but I also like to be very honest, and I love educating them…I feel like with our maternal mortality rate, there are a lot of things we can prevent if we properly educate these moms. I absolutely love being part of the solution to a worldwide problem.
WHAT IS THE TOUGHEST PART ABOUT BEING A NURSE?
Sometimes controlling your own feelings. Especially for labor and delivery, we labor with this person for twelve-plus hours and sometimes we go home and come back and we have them for another twelve hours and we get very attached. So, when outcomes don’t go how we want them to, or when mom’s get to that point where they’re so exhausted they just cry…being that strong point for them is a pride of our job, but it’s also really difficult, because if I break that patient/provider barrier, am I still able to unbiasedly do my job? Keeping that wall but still being human enough…finding that middle ground where they’re comforted by me, but I also feel very efficient in what needs to happen next can be a bit difficult.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AND YOUR NURSING PRACTICE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE SCHOOL'S MISSION OF PREPARING NURSES TO CONTINUE CHRIST'S HEALING MINISTRY?
I get so excited because I feel like God has mixed my ministry with my passion. I literally get to be the hands and feet at the bedside. There are things I get to do as a midwife and as a nurse—there are people that I get to touch, that I get to pray for…where even the smallest, “God, thank you for this baby, God bless this baby’s life, bless this delivery,” the smallest of prayers move the biggest things in the grand scheme of things.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT AT WORK?
I love hanging out with my family, believe it or not. I am a huge family person. My kiddo, my sister is my best friend, I see my mom as often as possible…I like to travel so that’s always fun. Travel nursing unlocked some new things in me.
My heart is so full.