Mount Marty University Student Inspired to Advance in Nursing

June 18, 2024

Nursing student Xavier Gabel '25 has been passionate about the medical field for a while after being inspired by numerous family members. “That's probably mainly because of my grandpa. He had lung cancer and beat that. Then, he randomly got a glioblastoma in his brain, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. That went into spontaneous remission randomly. Finally, he found out he had stage three bone cancer a year after that.” Gabel’s grandpa passed from that chronic illness. “That was just very hard. The care for him was not there.”

Gabel’s goal with entering the medical field is to provide individual and respectful care to all his patients. “This all got reinforced this year when my grandma passed.” Gabel was saddened by the care she received. “It just really reinforced me wanting to go into nursing in the health care profession. Trying to make sure that doesn't happen again.”

Advancing his nursing degree is Gabel’s current goal after graduation next year. He was inspired by his older brother. “He was the first Mount Marty student to have undergrad here and then to get into the anesthesia program... He definitely speaks pretty highly of the clinical setting, both undergrad and postgrad, but more so the anesthesia program because you get to go to a lot of different places and experience a lot of different things.” Gabel aspires to attain a job at Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls, S.D after graduation in the intensive care unit (ICU) to gain the required experience to then apply for the Mount Marty anesthesia graduate program.

Currently, Gabel is expanding his knowledge with his summer Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (BRIN) internship at Augustana University with Barret Eichler, Ph.D., which Gabel also participated in last year as he worked to help Eichler create a new molecule. This summer their plans are to test the molecule’s antibiotic efficacy. “I really do like the research side of things. I'm planning on doing my own research at some point once I get into the actual profession. So, it's definitely good experience. It's getting a lot of different bases touched in the science and medical world.”

He continues to work to be better-rounded by participating in Mount Marty football, intramural volleyball, volunteering at the Heartland Humane Society in Yankton and his passion for storm chasing, which all began after his home in Missouri was impacted by a tornado. Gabel mentions some of his favorite memories are with the football team. “Football and just the camaraderie and team building aspect you get between players... it’s nice to have a second family away from home, even though my family's not very far away.”

When asked what Gabel thinks he’ll take with him from Mount Marty into the nursing field, he responded, “I think it’s going to be the core values like hospitality and trying to treat people the way you want to be treated, making sure that they feel at home as much as they can while they're in the hospital, and providing the utmost respect for them.”





Founded in 1936 by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, Mount Marty University is South Dakota's only Catholic institution of higher education. Located along the bluffs of the Missouri River in Yankton, with additional locations in Watertown and Sioux Falls, Mount Marty offers undergraduate and graduate degrees focusing on student and alumni success in high-demand fields such as health sciences, education, criminal justice, business, accounting, and more. A community of learners in the Benedictine tradition, Mount Marty emphasizes academic excellence and develops well-rounded students with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills and moral, spiritual and social values. To learn more, visit