Clinical Instructor, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences
What year did you start working at NIU?
Where is your hometown? and where do you live now?
My hometown is Genoa, Illinois, and my current residence is Maple Park, Illinois.
Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
NIU School of Nursing, graduated May 2012.
NIU School of Nursing, Master of Science in nursing education, graduated May 2020.
In which department(s) do you teach?
School of Nursing clinical instructor
What do you like about working at NIU?
Being a Huskie myself, I wanted to give back to the university that helped me on my journey to becoming a nurse. I love NIU and the surrounding communities that I call home.
What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Read the syllabus!
Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
During my undergraduate studies, I had the unique experience of studying abroad and conducting research under the direction of one of my professors. To this day, it was one of the most exciting times of my life. This research turned into my senior project for the University Honors Program. One year later, I returned to Ireland to present my research at an international nursing conference.
What do you hope students take away from your class?
I hope students gain experience and confidence from my clinical courses.
What is your favorite campus event?
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
It is hard to choose just one! Study abroad in Ireland was the highlight of my education. I loved tailgating and NIU football games. I also loved the nurses' political action day in Springfield.
Who has influenced your professional path?
I owe much of my success to Dr. Jeanette Rossetti. She took me under her wing during my undergraduate studies and helped me do things I did not know I was capable of. She continues to inspire me, both in my professional and personal life.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I always knew I liked helping people. When I started working with children who have special needs, I decided to pursue a career in nursing. I thought I would be a pediatric nurse, but I fell in love with psychiatric mental health nursing when I started my clinical rotations. Since then I've worked in mental health, labor and delivery, and outpatient infusion nursing.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
Since 2017, I've been a member of the Nurse Educator Committee of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. This committee meets monthly and shares ongoing educational pedagogy related to psychiatric nursing education. I'm also a member at large of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, Illinois, and a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurses Society (spring 2020-present).
What community organizations are you involved in?
I'm a swim coach with Special Olympics Illinois.
What do you do to relax or recharge?
I like to do yoga, get outdoors, read and cook.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
I was admitted to NIU through the Chance Program. Despite all odds, I graduated with university honors and went on to obtain my master's degree. Your experiences and education are what you make of them. Believe in yourself, ask for help and anything is possible.