I always wanted to work at a higher education institution in student development. Prior to coming to Hondros College of Nursing, I juggled multiple career hats as a case manager, life coach and a community developer. I served with a vulnerable population of individuals who represent various demographics. Through that work, I found myself building connections with the nurses I would work with.
I enjoy working in student services because I am able to be an advocate for the underdog. I enjoy watching the process of an individual develop and grow into the version of themselves they aspire to become. It’s refreshing to watch a student commit themselves to a goal, find their inner resilience and accomplish what they set out to do.
I am able to make a difference in students’ lives by simply meeting them where they are and offering unbiased care, empathy and honesty. Transparency is the key to building rapport, and students want to see if you are authentic. My office is a judgment-free, safe-place where students can learn the skills they need to improve academically or holistically. As their academic support advisor, I send encouraging emails acknowledging their classroom success. I call students when they have missed a class, hold them accountable for their mistakes and sit with them as they grieve an emotional loss.
My advice to future nursing students would be to make sure you are following this path for the right reasons. You cannot go into nursing for the money alone. The income is a nice bonus, but students must understand that you have to have a heart for helping people. Once a student has made up their mind that they are committing to the nursing field, they must learn to manage their time, organize their lives and acquire a coachable spirit. Nursing school is a challenge and students must recognize that from the first day of class.
If I could tell all students one thing it would be how I wished every student would know how important it is to have a relationship with the faculty, student services, IT, financial aid and the college leadership. These individuals will be connected to you during your education. Do not be intimidated to speak up and be transparent so you are able to get the help and support you need.
Stephanie Fields is the Academic Support Advisor at the Westerville Campus. When she's not helping students, she enjoys activities that allow her to express her creativity such as music, art or dance.