Learn From the Best: Brandi Miller transitioned from engineer to nurse, and enjoys working with students

Brandi Miller, a Grand Rapids Community College nursing professor, says GRCC feels like home after taking on the role of both a student and an educator. 

Nursing is a second career for Miller. After graduating from Michigan Tech and working for 14 years as a licensed, professional engineer, Miller took a leap-of-faith and began attending GRCC to pursue a new career in nursing. 

She continued her education at Ferris State University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master of Science in Nursing certifications. 

Almost 10 years later, she now teaches students in the same GRCC nursing program she once studied in. 

Miller said the best part of teaching is working with students. Most GRCC nursing students are non-traditional – they have had other careers, are raising families, or are working simultaneously. 

These students are able to bring a diverse perspective to the program and are determined to succeed. 

Miller mentions, “It makes it really easy to do my job when I see how hard they’re working,” she said. 

The nursing program (the practical nursing certificate and associate degree) has had nearly perfect passing rates on the national licensure exam for the past four years. 

Miller notes that many of these students were once turned away from other selective nursing programs; yet these students are now thriving at GRCC.

“It says a lot about our culture at GRCC, students can come as they are, work hard, and succeed,” she said.  

Miller’s best advice to incoming students? “It’s okay to be a novice – everyone has a first day. It takes time to gain experience and fulfill potential. The first step is to show up and try.”

Additional information about the GRCC nursing program is here.

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