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Current Position: Assistant Professor/Instructor at Thomas Jefferson University College of Nursing; Intensive Care Nursery Staff Nurse, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Story Last Updated: October 2019
Current Position Updated: October 2019
My upbringing was rooted in Catholic education as my siblings and I went to Catholic grade school and high school. So when it came time for college applications, I chose schools that had similar values to what I was used to. I wanted a school with a great nursing program that was in more of a suburban location because growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, I wanted a bit of change. A school that was close enough to my family but far enough that I could live on campus and still obtain the full college experience.
GMercyU seemed to be a perfect fit for me. I knew a handful of students entering my first year that were coming from the same high school as me, therefore, I didn’t feel alone. I also enjoyed the fact that it was a smaller campus and I would not be a number on a roster but that the teacher would actually know my face and name because other than my nursing lectures, the class sizes were fairly small.
Being a recipient of the William Randolph Hearst Scholarship meant that my family and I didn’t have to stress as much about finances. I was not the only person in my family in college at the time I was at GMercyU. My parents had my younger sister at Archbishop Ryan High School and my brother at Bucks County Community College. So it was extremely difficult for my parents to afford to help everyone and they prided themselves on being fair. Therefore having that scholarship alleviated some of the stress. My parents also afforded me the ability to not have to work a part-time job off-campus so that I could be involved in extracurricular activities and focus on my school work.
During my time at GMercyU, I was a member of the Student Activities Committee which organized events and programs for the students on campus. I was also an active member of the Student Government Association where I held the role of Dance Team representative. I was a member of the dance team all four years and was captain my senior year. I have nothing but great memories from my college years. I was able to meet so many people and get involved in so many ways.
During my time in the Nursing program, I thoroughly enjoyed learning from Professor Nancy Chirantona. She was so passionate about nursing and it came through in the way she taught. She was also my clinical instructor; so I had the chance to see her interact not only with students outside the classroom but with patients as well.
It was nice to see that those who taught us could also practice what they were preaching. I always admired the way she spoke to students, she treated us like the young adults we were and held us accountable. She was direct and straight to the point but also extremely encouraging and empathetic when necessary. She was the kind of nurse I wanted to be.
GMercyU taught me that education is not just about going to classes but getting involved, immersing yourself in your surroundings and taking it all in, mind, body, and soul. They taught me that we should be living what we teach and to never lose focus of how you got to where you are going. It is our roots and the support system we have that enables us to keep growing. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family.
I hold many roles in life; a daughter, wife, mother, nurse, and an educator. Therefore when I am in class lecturing, I am able to bring in real-life experiences and relate to everyone in a different way.
After graduation, I applied to several hospitals in the Philadelphia area and finally landed an interview at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in August 2010 and had officially started working on a telemetry/oncology unit in October 2010. I worked there for about 18 months until a position opened up in the Neonatal ICU (NICU) where I worked full time till September 2019. I had known since I was in nursing school during my pediatric rotation with Professor Velia McCabe that I loved PEDS/NICU and that was where I wanted to spend most of my career.
During my years of working in the NICU, I worked on several quality initiative projects and presented several posters at national conferences. While working in the Neonatal ICU, I went back to school to obtain my MSN from Thomas Jefferson University.
Upon graduation, I started working as a part-time adjunct clinical instructor for Thomas Jefferson University. This position led me to a full time instructor at Thomas Jefferson University teaching courses to traditional & Fact students. I currently specialize in Maternity and Pediatric Content. I am also currently in the process of applying and hopefully starting my Higher Education Ed.D Degree in the spring. I still work per-diem in the Neonatal ICU at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to keep up with my skills and expertise.
My personal life has been just as amazing. I got married to Nicholas King in 2013 and we welcomed our son in 2014 and our daughter in 2016. I have the greatest support system a person could ever have. We are constantly pushing and supporting each other to be better version of ourselves.