As a non-traditional student, Catherine went into nursing as a second career. Living in Burlington, she lives close to the Vermont Tech Williston Campus and, while that was one of the factors in choosing to attend VTC, she chose Vermont Tech specifically for the nursing program, stating, “I looked at the programs at University of Vermont (UVM) and Norwich, but knew right away that the intense, hands-on program at VTC was the one for me.” By offering state-of-the-art clinical simulation laboratory technology in the classroom, Vermont Tech nurses receive hands-on training before entering the field. She clarified, “I chose Vermont Tech because I could earn my ADN in a relatively short amount of time and the program is known for producing great nurses.” Read more about why people choose the Vermont Tech Nursing program.
During her time as a student, she really enjoyed the clinical rotations because “they gave me hands-on experience in patient care and also the opportunity to get a sense for each area of the hospital. I got to see inpatient, outpatient, specialty clinics, family medicine, operating room, and mother-baby. Spending time with nurses, patients, and other staff in each area gave me a sense of what it might be like to work there and helped me make the right choice for myself.” She explained, “Clinical rotations were the biggest help in figuring out where I wanted to start nursing as a new graduate.” Catherine received her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2020.
Now you’ll find Catherine working as a Staff Nurse II in Hematology/Oncology at the University of Vermont Medical Center. She explains her position: “I am a bedside nurse in the Oncology unit at the hospital. I help patients and their families through cancer treatments and the complications that can come from being treated for cancer.” At first, her job search was difficult. Being in the first year of the pandemic and UVM’s cyberattack, she found herself looking at positions farther from her home. Luckily, the UVM network got back online, and she was offered multiple positions in her top choices!
When asked to share advice for incoming or current students, she offered two important ones. First, she stated positively, “With this program, especially in the LPN year, you have to take it day by day. There is so much information, it can feel overwhelming, but you will make it through!” Second, she mentioned time management and self-care, sharing, “I also learned early on that I had to make a schedule for school work and also make time for myself. The routine for school and work was critical to making sure I got everything done. I studied at the library most days after class, finding it helpful to be in a space separate from my home. I had to sacrifice a lot of social time to be successful in the program, but I made sure to put studies aside every Saturday to stay focused on family and friends the whole day.” Learn more about Vermont Tech’s Hartness Libraries, as both campuses have study rooms that you can schedule and friendly staff to assist you in your research!