On Friday, March 27th we had the pleasure of hosting KILN alumni returning to the Boston College campus for a panel presentation for current students. Our alumni not only represented diversity in graduation years, from 2011 through 2014, but also in career experiences as RN’s since leaving Boston College.  Cassandra Hernandez ’14 and Malika Weekes ’13 (Boston Children’s Hospital), Jessica Fenty-Scotland ’11 (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Sabianca Delva ’12 (Massachusetts General Hospital), Jennifer Etienne ’12 (New England Rehabilitation Hospital), Bria Mazige ’14 (Salem Hospital), and Andrea Lopez ’14 (South End Community Health Care Center) introduced themselves and described their  current nursing positions.

Panelists  talked about transitioning from college student to full-time nurse, preparing for and taking the NCLEX, and handling challenges in the job search process.  Student attendees asked provocative questions about how to succeed in school and how to stay focused and positive. The panelists gave practical advice and recounted stories that reaffirmed their own choices of nursing as a career. For example, one panelist told a story of shaving the beard of a man in a long-term care situation due to an accident. His eyes filled with tears when he looked in the mirror; he told the nurse how much it meant to him to be able to see his own face after so many months. For the nurse, whose job involves mastery of scientific principles, a high degree of technical skill, expertise in interpersonal communication, and a great deal of patience and organization, those kinds of tasks may seem relatively unimportant. However, for a patient whose entire life revolves around what happens in the hospital, such “routine” activities may be monumental. The panelists agreed that job satisfaction often comes from momentary personal interactions with patients and families and encouraged the students to embrace those opportunities

After the presentation, attendees had the opportunity to network with the panelists and get information about specific agencies, specialties, and interests. The KILN program is grateful for the panelists’ willingness to provide support to CSON students, and we look forward to more events with our growing alumni network.