No Regrets: Would-Be Musician Pivots to Nursing

College students often face a daunting academic crossroad; to either pursue their passion or settle for a practical career. Few young adults recognize a third option beyond this dichotomy. Tyler Hostetler, MSN, AGACNP-BC is one Kent State University at Geauga alum who discovered an untapped passion while on a practical path.

“Kent State wasn’t actually my first undergraduate experience,” Hostetler explains. “After high school, I received an associate degree in recording arts to pursue my passion for music. After graduating, I returned home and reevaluated my career goals, but couldn’t decide what route I wanted to go on, until my brother-in-law mentioned the nursing profession.”

Tyler Hostetler
“I laughed and thought to myself, ‘No way! I hate blood and needles!’ Next thing I knew, I had completed an STNA program, started working as a nursing assistant, and enrolled into Kent State Geauga’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.“

Hostetler continues, “To be quite honest, after graduating with a degree in recording arts, I asked myself how I would start paying for school loans and, seeing as most people in the industry start out as an intern making little to no money, I needed to find work. This is when I began working in the hospital setting and never looked back.”

Hostetler started working at University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center as a nursing assistant and began to lose his aversion to blood and needles. He recalls a turning point while in nursing school.

“I remember watching a video about flight medicine and one of the flight RNs said something along the lines of, ‘On my patient's worst day, I want to be the best part.’ Those words changed everything for me and have stuck with me ever since. As a nursing assistant, I always knew I wanted to work in the critical care setting and soon found my passion for critical care medicine while working in the Trauma ICU.”

A Geauga County native, Hostetler received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015 from the Kent State Geauga Campus.

“What especially drew me to the Kent State Geauga Campus was the accommodating aspect of it being so close to home and the affordability of Kent State’s regional campuses,” he says. “But it wasn’t a difficult decision at all. Because of Kent State University’s reputation for graduating outstanding nursing students, I knew my decision was an easy one. Kent State Geauga provided me with the opportunity to receive my entire bachelor’s degree at a smaller campus close to home while still living up to Kent State’s outstanding reputation. The smaller class sizes at Geauga made faculty much more readily available when I needed them.”

One professor that always comes to mind from Hostetler’s undergraduate studies is Dr. Erin Bailey, who teaches Anatomy & Physiology in the Kent State Geauga nursing program. “Dr. Bailey was very knowledgeable of the subject and always made an effort to push her students to that next level,” he recalls.

In 2017, Hostetler returned to Kent State to pursue his Master of Science in Nursing at the Kent Campus as a part-time student, while working full-time. He completed the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program and graduated with his MSN in 2020.  
Tyler Hostetler working in the ER

After graduating with his BSN five years ago, Hostetler started working as an RN in a Level 1 Trauma ICU, where he worked for the next two years. “Once I made the decision to return to Kent State for my graduate studies, I left the ICU and started working in UH Geauga’s Emergency Department closer to home, where I still currently work,” he explains. “RNs in the ED are like a jack-of-all-trades. We do a little bit of everything, and we never know what will come through the door next.

“With my MSN degree I received from Kent State, I hope to soon return to the ICU as an acute-care nurse practitioner. While I enjoy working in the fast-paced Emergency Department setting, my passion is in critical-care medicine. I enjoy the critical thinking of a complex patient case and am eager to take what I’ve learned from Kent State and apply it in practice.”

Hostetler says that the most rewarding part about his work “is not just treating the patient, but treating a community… my local community. Ever since I started working in the Emergency Department, I have always felt like I was making a difference in my community, a feeling I never got while working on the inpatient side of the hospital. I enjoy working alongside EMS and police and also enjoy helping educate our community’s future paramedics who complete much of their training in the ED."

POSTED: Monday, February 1, 2021 - 8:33am
UPDATED: Monday, February 1, 2021 - 8:36am
Estelle R. Brown