For Greta Kueng, the decision to attend Winona State University was all about the reputation of nursing excellence.

She was prepared to test her limits with difficult coursework, demanding schedules, and rigorous expectations.

“Anyone who says college is easy did not challenge themselves enough,” Kueng said. “Winona has provided (me) the utmost encouragement to be successful and push through difficult times.”

Kueng said attending college during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was an unexpected challenge, but she felt it carried a good life lesson.

“As a nursing student, the pandemic was particularly impactful to nursing students and our practice,” she explained. “Though I felt some of my college years were stripped away, I learned valuable lessons on how to be creative and build a resiliency to navigate the unknowns of the future through this time.”

Kueng, originally from Champlin, Minn., believes her nursing professors played a large part in keeping her on track and fueling her passion for healthcare during a difficult time.

“The nursing professors have shaped, inspired, and challenged us students to step out of our comfort zone and work hard to be successful,” she said. “They are role-model nurses and promote qualities of nursing that I aspire to embody in my professional career.”

As Kueng reflects on her college experience, she says her favorite part has been the sense of community she felt during her four years at Winona State.

“A smaller school offers an opportunity to create a support network and develop professional relationships with professors,” she said. “This aspect allowed me to feel a constant sense of support while navigating nursing school.”

After graduation, Kueng plans to work in the cardiac surgery and transplant ICU at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

I am proud to attend and graduate from Winona State because of its reputation for excellence. Winona State graduates are highly regarded and go on to do amazing things, and I will be proud to call myself an alumna.

Greta Kueng '23

Commencement Speaker, Winona State University