Kellie Phillips

Combining healthcare with culture

Portrait of Kellie PhillipsFor Kellie Phillips, a recent graduate of the College of Nursing’s Caring for Our Own program (CO-OP) and an Indian Health Service Scholar, health care is more than an occupation, it is a higher calling.

Initially Kellie lacked confidence in her own ability to become a nurse. “I didn’t think I was smart enough,” she said. However, her grandmother, a certified nursing assistant, inspired Kellie to pursue work in health care and instilled in her a profound sense of compassion. 

A health care job at a level-1 trauma center provided experiences that solidified Kellie’s determination to become a nurse. She credits MSU and the CO-OP—the college support program for Native American students—for her success. “I developed a passion for nursing that is never going to dissolve,” she said.

Kellie is currently working at the Indian Health Board of Billings and appreciates being able to “connect with patients in ways non-Native providers can’t,” she explained.

With plans to continue on in MSU’s graduate nursing program, Kellie is clear about her future, “I want to teach someday, and be able to help produce good nurses.”