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A Day in the Life: Featuring Sierra Brenner

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

By Paulina Diaz

Photo Credit: SU Athletics

Sierra Brenner is not a typical student at Simpson University.

Brenner is a transfer student from Shasta Community College. She chose Simpson because it is close to home and because she got the opportunity to continue her soccer career while going to nursing school. At most schools, due to the workload, nursing students are not allowed to practice any sports. 

She says her favorite thing about the nursing program is that you get to know all the professors on a personal level and the class size is smaller than at most universities.

“You are with your cohort all 2.5 years, each taking the same class and same clinical’s and you get to see the same people every day which makes it a comforting environment and you make really amazing friends,” she said via email.

Brenner says being a nursing student-athlete is hard, but possible. As a third-semester student, she has two 12-hour clinicals and two days of class. When she is not at the hospital or in class, she is at soccer practice three times a week.

Brenner’s favorite thing about playing soccer is her teammates and the fact that she is able to take the stress away from nursing.

“I love the fact that we are almost like a family.” Brenner has been a part of the Simpson Women’s Soccer Program rebuilding process since Fall 2018. “It has come a long way and I truly believe we have a chance to take the championship with the team we have for this upcoming spring season,” she said via email.

When people ask Brenner if being a nursing major is hard, she tells them that having good time management skills and dedication are key to success.

“I try to take it week by week and write out on my planner what I have to do for that week. In nursing school, it’s hard to plan ahead because it takes up so much time just to write it all down on your planner and you feel like you’re wasting your time!” Sometimes, Brenner has two tests and up to 15 assignments in a single week. “I usually try not to focus on things so far ahead and just make sure what I need to get done in this day or week, gets done & go from there,” she said via email.

When Brenner graduates in Fall 2021, she wants to apply to multiple hospitals in California, but also outside of California. She hopes to get a job at a hospital as quickly as possible. Her dream is to be an ER nurse or pediatric nurse.

Brenner has some advice for those wanting to be both a nursing student and an athlete. 

“You can totally do it! Time management is really important and realizing that you probably won’t have a social life unless you're at practice. Practice is your break which means when you're not at practice, you are studying. Don’t allow anyone to tell you it is impossible to do both because it is not.”

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