At the March KILN seminar, we had the pleasure of having Vanessa Battista, Andrew Burns, Katie Davis, and Maria Cardiello, four guest speakers all of who are involved in different nursing fields. All four speakers provided us with information in regards to their area of specialty, their struggles during their undergraduate or graduate programs, and helpful tips concerning the NCLEX exam and the job application process.

Maria Cardiello is a registered nurse at Thom Metro Boston Early Intervention, where she attends to newborns up to the age of three who have mental delays, serious diseases, or  need surgical cures. As a care coordinator, Maria supports, teaches, and advocates for the families about their child’s diagnosis.

On the other hand, Andrew Burns is currently a second year student enrolled in the Nurse Anesthesia program at Boston College (BC). Andrew did not always have a  passion for anesthesia. He first began working at Massachusetts General Hospital on one of the critical care units as a bedside nurse. A couple years later he moved onto medical sales and even questioned being a traveling nurse. Andrew finally decided to further his education and will be graduating in May 2012 with a license in anesthesia. He concluded the presentation with the following statement, “I love the technical aspect of nursing anesthesia.”

Vanessa Battista is involved at BC and Children’s Hospital. She is a clinical instructor for the CSON Pediatric Palliative Care Program and works at Children’s Hospital on a neuromuscular unit as a nurse practitioner. She never expected that she would be a nurse and a teacher, but ended up doing both because of Doctor Judith Vessey, who showed her that nursing is not all about “bedpans and needles.” Dr. Vessey recruited her to teach here at BC and Vanessa is now in charge of eight palliative care courses.

Katie Davis is a BC alumna who was the president of the Eagle Emergency Medical Services (EMS) program and worked alongside the Newton police department. She started her medical career as an emergency medical technician (EMT) at the age of 16. Davis is now in the BS/MS program at BC focusing on forensic nursing. She also works at Beth Israel (BI) in the Emergency department. While at BI, Katie has set up a sexual assault program that focuses on domestic violence, elderly abuse, and suicides. She is looking to graduate this May as a sexual assault nurse examiner and has already created her own position at BI.

This monthly seminar  really gave me a new perspective on a wide range of possibilities that exist within nursing. Take the speaker Katie Davis for example, she has a strong passion for both nursing and law and has managed to create a position at the BI, where she can practice both areas. Her story made me realize that a bachelor’s in nursing should not restrict us to just the healthcare aspect of this profession, but instead look beyond it. Always stay open to all possibilities because like Katie, we too can create our own position if we desire.