'13, BSN, Nursing; Lourdes Nursing Learning Community member
Neuroscience Step Down Unit, Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo, OH
Providing healthcare to patients in the neuroscience step down unit, Aileen works with individuals who are recovering from strokes, seizures and other trauma to the brain and spinal cord. Most importantly, she has achieved her goal of becoming a nurse and enjoys working with and helping people. “My bachelor’s degree in nursing really opened up many opportunities for me whether I choose to work in a hospital, become a traveling nurse or a nurse educator.”
As a Lourdes freshman, Aileen chose to enroll in the Lourdes Nursing Learning Community. “Our cohort took all of the basic English and science courses together. The intimate learning environment allowed me to open up more in class and build strong learning relationships with my professors and fellow peers. In the end, it helped us achieve our absolute academic best.”
She is particularly grateful to Drs. Baumgartner, Boudrie, and Sr. Barbara Stallman. Aileen advises current nursing students to take advantage of the learning community program and make connections with professors. “You actually learn more academically and find out about job openings in nursing. One of my clinical instructors told me about open medical positions at St. Vincent’s. I applied and am now working and doing something I love.”
When not providing healthcare at the hospital, Aileen enjoys time spent with her mare Emerald. She has been active in horseback riding since the third grade, and has developed an inseparable bond with the 17-year-old equine. Now that she has graduated and has more free time, she enjoys acting as an advisor of a 4H Club in Fulton County and is searching for activities to keep her busy. “When I was attending Lourdes, I was very involved in campus ministry initiatives including Habitat for Humanity, the Honduras International Experience and the Franciscan Pilgrimage. I learned how valuable community service is for the individual and those that he or she serves.”
Aileen’s future professional aspirations include furthering her career with a master’s degree in nursing as a nurse practitioner or as an educator. “I haven’t quite decided to choose one or to pursue both options.” Whichever road she chooses, her determination, hard work and integrity will certainly assist her in achieving her goals.