1) What made you initially choose Marymount and your major?
After years of trying different arenas of health sciences and clinical research, health communications and education, and health services, I realized that nursing integrated all my passions: health, science, research, education, and direct care. I want to make a difference every day. I want to be a leader; I want to be a nurse.
Prior to applying to nursing programs, I sought informational interviews with experienced nurses. I examined different specialties, geographical areas, and nursing environments. Many of these individuals were MU alumni or offered MU their highest recommendation. Upon further investigation, Marymount's hallmarks of scholarship, leadership, service, and ethics matched my core values identically. I committed to Marymount University without hesitation when I visited this student-centered community and met the faculty. MU's nursing program had the highest first time pass rates for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX) of any program I had considered. For me, choosing Marymount was an evidence-based decision.2) As a student, you were awarded two scholarships – the NOVA Medical Group Award and the Lucille and Bruce Lambert Scholarship from the Lambert Foundation. What has receiving these meant to you?
I’m so grateful for having been awarded the NOVA award from Dr. Keenan's NOVA Medical Group and the Lucille & Bruce Lambert Scholarship from the Lambert Foundation. Without these generous awards from Marymount's benefactors, I would not have been able to continue enrollment in the BSN program due to a family medical emergency. My professors were my strongest advocates, always providing guidance, strength, and hope. Additionally, they advised me to go beyond the Marymount community to apply for other scholarships, such as The Virginia Hospital Center’s Friends of Nursing Scholarship and Service Agreement. This award was instrumental for me to continue Marymount’s nursing program, and to begin working as a registered nurse less than two months after graduation. My professors had my back the entire time and continue to provide guidance for my future. For all of this, I’m grateful.
3) What have you taken away from being a scholarship recipient now that you’re in the “real world”?
The practice of “paying it forward” is embodied in these generous scholarships. I received the Lucille and Bruce Lambert Foundation Scholarship for having demonstrated service to the geriatric community, and I seek opportunities to pay it forward because I know the life changing difference these gifts can make.
Within the Arlington Community, thanks to the encouragement and recommendation of Marymount University’s Librarian, Ms. Patricia Sanner, I have been named a volunteer member of the Arlington County Commission for Long Term Care Residences by the Arlington County Board. I will advocate for the geriatric community and for all residents within long term care residences, and will be working on their Committee for Quality, Standards, and Metrics, reporting to state and federal programs. I look forward to working with the Committee for Education while serving as a liaison for two long term care facilities, and am excited to have such an opportunity to “pay it forward.”
4) What are you doing in your field today?
Today, I am a Registered Nurse working at Virginia Hospital Center (VHC) in the renal/medicine unit. I’ve joined VHC’s Nursing Coordinating Council’s Councils for Education and Research. I’m honored to be a contributing evidence-writer for Virginia Hospital Center’s Application to Magnet Certification, the highest recognition for nursing and clinical excellence. I’m also involved in data collection and analysis for VHC’s Performance Improvement Council. In November, I will be shadowing wound care specialists as Virginia Hospital Center becomes the first hospital in the U.S. to implement a new in-patient and portable single-use out-patient wound-vacuum and irrigation system.