Avery Burn ’24: Sharing God’s Love Through Nursing

Avery Burn ’24 is passionate about helping people. Although she didn’t know she wanted to study nursing until the end of high school, Burn is absolutely sure that she’s found her calling. Her classes at APU have strengthened her resolve that nursing is the best way she can care for others while showing God’s love. “Being a nurse aligns so well with my faith,” she said. “I came to APU because the nursing program is one of the best in the world and I wanted to have a top education while also growing through Christ- centered relationships on campus.”

Burn’s experience in classes like Mental Health Nursing helped develop her passion for advocating for people with mental health challenges. In March, Burn put together an event in partnership with the University Counseling Center featuring a panel with six APU students who live with chronic illnesses and disabilities. “Both my roommate and I have had a chronic illness and we realized there was a big lack of knowledge most people had about it,” she said. “We wanted to create a space where APU faculty, staff, and students could learn from their peers who have chronic illnesses and disabilities.”

Burn’s worldview has also been shaped by her time in APU’s Honors College. After completing her minor in honors in the fall, she feels more equipped to speak out for the marginalized. “Before honors, I wasn’t a good public speaker,” she said. “Honors gave me a great foundation to learn from other students gifted in this area and to gain more confidence in public speaking.”

Although Burn sees her future as a career in emergency nursing, her commitment to health spurred a side business with a friend and she is excited to see it grow. Her business, Pacific Poppies, sells luxury coconut-soy wax candles. “My friend, Chloe Palmer, and I love burning candles, but they were affecting our asthma and giving her headaches,” Burn said. “We researched and found out that there are many toxins and chemicals in the candles we had. We wanted to create our own solution to that.” After researching, Burn and Palmer found waxes that burn cleanly with pleasant fragrances, offering a healthier solution for candle lovers.

Before they launched the company, Burn and Palmer decided on Psalm 27:1 as their company verse. The verse, which reads “The Lord is my light and salvation—whom shall I fear,” embodies the faith that they want to incorporate into their company.

For Burn, faith is what it all comes down to. After accepting God into her heart in the third grade, she has let her faith guide her life. “I also really like Psalm 23 because it’s calming and lets me know that God’s in control, that he’s the one leading me, my shepard,” she said. In the next year, Burn hopes to start a prayer group for APU students with chronic illness and disabilities. In the years following, she wants to share her faith through her work. “As a Christian, I want others to accept Jesus as their Savior. Through the medical field, that means being the best Christian nurse I can be and serving others with the love of Christ.”