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Cathy Sivak,

What are some of the most respected and prestigious nursing schools, departments or programs?

I might not have gone to the most prestigious schools; it’s the people that make it. Meet the instructors, graduates, students, talk to them, I know some people who went to the highest-ranked schools, but they couldn’t wait to leave. The most respected and prestigious schools are the ones that speak to you “inside” the most.

What can students applying to nursing schools or programs do to increase their chances of being accepted?

A Day in the Life of a...

Ever wonder what it's like to be a nurse midwife? A nurse with a doctorate? Or a holistic nurse? Find out with our A Day in the Life... series!

Go to class with Assistant Professor-CT and Director of Student Services Dr. Ruby Martinez.

Spend the day with Holistic and Rehabilitation Nurse, Barbara Klein-Robuck.

Learn what Certified Hospice & Palliative Care Nurse Maria Gatto does at work.

Deliver babies with Certified Nurse Midwife Eunice (Kitty) Ernst.

Share the struggles of an accelerated BSN nursing student with Erin Downing.

A certain GPA is required, you have to show community involvement, commitment; it’s very important that you have experience in the field beforehand. Being a nursing assistant so young helped me to show that young initiative and commitment. Look for jobs that are going to help train you for that role. You need good academics, aptitude in caring for people. What does a nurse do, and how have you reflected that in your life?

How could the nursing education system change to better serve society?

We should be bringing our nurses back to the bedside, not teaching them to be a nurse of tasks, but teaching them to be a nurse of caring. Nursing students need to learn how to perform caring human interaction, communication, interaction and compassionate skills, support of life as well as end of life, and holistic skills. If you are taught how to be a holistic nurse at all stages of life,that would serve patients better.

What other advice can you give to prospective students thinking about an education and career in nursing?

I believe the best advice is to love your work, have fun at your job; you have to smile. If you don’t love going to your job everyday, why go? People in palliative and hospice care know that it isn’t depressing. You are not going in as the grim reaper; you are going in as Mary Poppins; we do more laughter and healing than any other nurses.

Closing Remarks

Do you feel that is important for someone to be passionate about the healthcare field in order to be successful as a nurse?

If there is no passion, please walk away and find your passion. It is a prerequisite. Something has to move you spiritually, passionately to deliver the greater good. If you don’t feel it from within, please find it somewhere else, you do a disservice to patients otherwise, and yourself, as well.

Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, your career, or the profession that would be interesting or helpful to others aspiring to succeed as a nurse?

My closing remark is namaste -honor each other and the universal connection that we have.

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