Belhaven Student Honored with Prestigious Nursing Award

Meggan Mickle as the recipient of the 2022 Oneita Dongieux Award for Excellence

April 11, 2022 (Jackson, Miss.) - The Mississippi Nurses Foundation selected Belhaven University nursing student Meggan Mickle as the recipient of the 2022 Oneita Dongieux Award for Excellence.

This award was established through the Mississippi Nurses Foundation in honor of Onita Dougieux, an advocate, lobbyist, and leader in moving nursing education into higher education.

Only two Mississippi students, one from a four-year university and one from a community college, are given this prestigious award every year.

“Meggan is a dedicated nursing student who pursues her nursing studies with full effort,"Chair of the Belhaven University School of Nursing Dr. Amy Rex Smith. "She is bright but she is also wise beyond her years. She often asks challenging questions that demonstrate sophisticated understanding of the material. She is on track to become an outstanding nurse.”

Mickle, a junior from Crystal Springs, Miss., is a single mom of twins, a boy and girl. Her decision to become a nurse began when her daughter developed a heart condition and had to stay in the hospital. While in the hospital, she was inspired by the nurses that cared for her family.

“I can only remember the name of my three nurses,” said Mickle. “They didn't just come and go. They made the difference between me crying all night long and having the strength to take care of my children and persevere through this hard time.”

After experiencing the impact nurses can have on patients, Mickle made an important decision at that moment. “I just really wanted to be that bedside nurse. A nurse who comes in the middle of all the chaos and stress to sit down and talk, checking on a patient's mental and spiritual health as well as physical status.”

Mickle earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Jackson State University in May 2021. She earned a summer internship in pediatrics at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Nursing students from around the state compete for this internship and only a few are selected each summer. After Mickle graduates, she plans to stay in Mississippi and work in pediatrics.