By Laine Zizka
Logan McIntosh ’17, a TCU School of Nurse Anesthesia alumnus, knows well the challenges and rigor of the nurse anesthesia program at TCU, but his indomitable passion and drive were instilled far earlier in his life.
Born and raised in southeastern Kentucky, McIntosh grew up bouncing in and out of homeless shelters with his family.
“We never went without food,” said McIntosh. “I was never hungry, but some of the accommodations I’ve lived in are less than what most people would consider adequate.”
Though he and his family lived in poverty for several years, it was the norm he saw around him.
“Growing up like that, I knew I didn’t want to raise my kids the same way, so it instilled this drive for success in me,” McIntosh said.
Military service was the first career path on McIntosh’s mind, but his dental braces prevented him from beginning basic training. He shifted his priorities to academic ones and found the medical field as a place of interest. Soon, he went from planning not to go to school to planning to attend a lot of school.
McIntosh was accepted and began the nursing program at Wright State University outside Dayton, Ohio. In addition to the demands of nursing school, he also worked full-time as a welder and fabricator.
After graduating, he found work at a Level I trauma center in their surgical intensive care unit. After five years, he knew he wanted to take his career to the next level and began searching for nurse anesthesia schools.
That’s when McIntosh found TCU.
McIntosh puts a lot of stock in the quality of TCU’s education, ultimately choosing it because the initial, online portion of the curriculum allowed him the flexibility to continue working during the first eight months of the program. He was also drawn to TCU’s exceptional first-time board pass rates, 5-10% higher than the national average.
“TCU has definitely set me up for success,” said McIntosh. “I feel more than confident in the education I have received here.”
Most importantly, McIntosh cited the tight-knit community and the caliber of the professors he found in the nurse anesthesia program as creating a support system for him and his classmates. Even with all of the benefits that drew him to TCU, the coursework rigor was still a shock.
“It’s such a time commitment; it’s such a journey,” McIntosh said. “No one can even really grasp how much you have to put into it unless you went through it.”
It’s not just about memorizing material, he admits. You have to understand the basics before you can understand the complex.
“It truly is seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” McIntosh said. “It’s the last thing you think about when you go to sleep and it’s the first thing you think about when you wake up.”
McIntosh could often be found in the lobby of the Bass Building studying well into the night – one of the last to leave the building. That’s how he struck up a friendship with Vice Provost Susan Weeks, then dean of Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences.
“It seems likely to me that his earlier experiences have developed an inner passion for achievement,” said Weeks of McIntosh. “Some individuals who have challenging experiences become bitter and discouraged. Instead, Logan demonstrates a motivation to construct his own preferred future.”
Weeks noticed McIntosh almost immediately, amazed at the number of hours he spent studying, impressed by his dedication to his academic performance. McIntosh admits he had never seen anyone spend as much time as she did in the Bass Building.
“I have a great deal of respect for not only the time she’s spent, but her commitment,” McIntosh said of Weeks. “She truly loves TCU and all the programs. I know that she contributes a lot to our education behind the scenes.”
McIntosh continues to look ahead and considers a future in teaching. But, for now, his passion remains with his patients at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He credits his strong family support system as a driving force behind his success.
Above all else, his main goal is to provide the best care possible for his patients through a lifelong learning process.
“That’s why you do this, that’s why you go to school for 13 years – for the patient,” McIntosh said. “That’s why you study so hard. That’s why you continue to study and learn once you get out – to provide the best care you can.”