Placekicker Jake Marion '26 and graduate student Chandler Brayboy are tackling the football field and nursing studies.
The Elon Department of Nursing is breaking gender barriers. Nursing has traditionally been seen as a women’s profession and male nursing students are often few and far between. Currently, there are 10 male students enrolled in the nursing major, two of whom are members of the Elon football team.
Placekicker Jake Marion ’26 and graduate student Chandler Brayboy are tackling the football field and nursing studies. Brayboy and Marion both indicated they want to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) and work in the operating room as integral members of the surgical team.
Both indicate a desire to help others and Brayboy credits his grandfather with helping him choose a career as a nurse, relating an experience he had several years ago when his grandfather was ill.
Interim nursing program director Stacey Thomas asked both what they liked about the program. Marion states that he enjoys going to clinicals and learning with a hands-on approach. Brayboy states that he enjoys the professors, who he said make him feel like they genuinely care about him and support him. Professors have been attending games, sending kudos in emails for good performances on the field, and bringing in football-shaped cupcakes to congratulate Brayboy on making two touchdowns during the Elon-Monmouth game.
Thomas asked if there was any teasing going on in the locker room from other players. Brayboy admitted that many players have started to come to him when they have medical questions that they don’t feel comfortable talking to others about. Marion also says that he gets asked questions all the time about medications and illnesses. When asked if they would recommend nursing to other players, they both said to go for it. They admit that learning time management strategies to get in quality study time with practices can be difficult but they both use practice as an avenue to take out frustrations. Brayboy says that the nursing faculty have been very accommodating in working with his schedule so that he is able to participate fully in the nursing program without missing out on football.