MCCN Alumni Provide Words of Wisdom to Graduates

We received heartfelt guidance for our newest alumni when we asked Mount Carmel alumni “What advice would you like to share with other nurses as they move from being students to being alumni of Mount Carmel?”

“First of all, try and join the Mount Carmel Alumni Association. Many scholarships are given to current students, and without the help of the alumni these would not be made possible. Be kind to your peers and colleagues. Agree to disagree, but do it respectfully. Look at learning as a lifelong adventure, whether in the classroom setting or on a personal basis. Remember on those days that you go home frustrated after having a difficult day: you do make a difference in your patients’ and families’ lives.”Judi Hollern Brown ’74 Diploma (Mount Carmel School of Nursing), ’11 BSN (MCCN), RN, nurse case manager, Promedica.

“Never be afraid to ask questions and/or ask for help.”Christian Graves '12 BSN (MCCN), RN, Critical Care Stroke Unit, Aultman Hospital, Canton, Ohio

“You need to breathe, ask questions and be good to yourselves!”Iris Freisner '66 Diploma (Mount Carmel School of Nursing), '07 BSN (MCCN), MSN (Walden University), RN, casual; facilitator, Nurse Residency Program; and adjunct faculty, Online RN-BSN Program, Mount Carmel College of Nursing

“Your first year out of school will be very difficult. You will be very stressed and uneasy about being in charge of a person’s life without a preceptor checking everything you do. And you should be. This means that you care about what you are doing, are worried about making mistakes and are anxious about not being able to answer questions. This is how you should feel. There is no greater responsibility than taking care of a person at the most vulnerable point in their life. But with difficult trials come great blessings. This will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. There will be days you question why you chose this career. There will be days you can barely muster enough strength to crawl into bed after a grueling 16.5-hour night shift. But, through all the turmoil and strife, you will see that this is the most rewarding career in the world, and it was the smartest decision you’ve ever made.”Lucas Halliday '13 BSN (MCCN), RN, CCRN, staff nurse, Intensive Care Unit, OSU Wexner Medical Center and flight nurse (2nd Lieutenant), United States Air Force Reserve

“Keep your head up high, knowing that you may not have learned everything there is to know about nursing, but you have been thoroughly equipped with the thinking skills to figure things out.”Mandy Osae-Attah ’12 BSN (MCCN), RN, Trauma Critical Care, Ohio Health Grant Medical Center

“Know that you are graduating from a wonderful program. When I was graduating, Mount Carmel graduates were sought after, as they are today. My strong background really helped me become a successful nurse, and when I went for my BSN, my classmates were amazed at my knowledge base. They had not heard about all the diseases that I was able to describe. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I was often bringing up the rear in class!”Deb Balthaser Poling '79 Diploma (Mount Carmel School of Nursing), BSN (Purdue University) MSN (Indiana University), PhD (University of Northern Colorado), FNP-BC, NLN, graduate director of Graduate Nursing Programs, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW)

“I would advise all new graduates to continue learning. You are never too old to learn. I went back to school after 36 years and have never regretted it! I have enjoyed it so much. It is also important to remember why you went into nursing. Nursing is a profession, not just a job. You can make such a difference in others’ lives. Staying involved with classmates once you have graduated will help you continue the network that was developed through the school life. Be proud of your profession and of Mount Carmel College of Nursing – nursing truly is an art.”Pat Steele Skunda ’72 Diploma (Mount Carmel School of Nursing), ’10 BSN (MCCN), ’14 MS (MCCN), RN, night-shift supervisor, Mount Carmel West Hospital

“Never stop learning. Treat each day as an opportunity to learn, grow and reconnect with your passion for nursing and leadership.”Tara Dorans Williams ’99 BSN (MCCN), ’11 MS (MCCN), RN, director of Medical/Surgical Division, Mount Carmel East Hospital

You can learn more about the Mount Carmel Alumni Association at mccn.edu/alumni or on its Facebook page.

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