Stanbridge College Nursing alumnus, Wendy Gaggiano, LVN, hopes to make a difference in the lives of each her patients every day. In her spotlight interview, Wendy discusses how the personal experience given to her at Stanbridge and lessons of time management and discipline helped her grow both personally and professionally.
SC: What where you doing before you came to Stanbridge College?
WG: Before I came to Stanbridge, I was a homemaker making the best out of every moment I got to spend with my family.
SC: What was your inspiration for becoming a nurse?
WG: There were a few people that inspired me to go back to school like my husband David, my son Daniel and my friend Julie. But the one person that inspired me to become a nurse was a wonderful man named Robert. I had the privilege of being his caregiver for a couple of months. Before he passed away, he was put in hospice care and at that point I didn’t have the skills to continue to provide him with the care he needed. It broke my heart and at the same time it changed the path of my life, so I decided to go to nursing school.
SC: Why did you choose Stanbridge College for your education?
WG: I chose Stanbridge because out of the four different schools that I looked at, Stanbridge was the only one that gave me a very personal experience and had the patience to answer each one of my questions without being pushy or sounding desperate for me to sign up. Also a couple of the schools I looked at didn’t give me a tour of the facility and one that did give me a tour was a disappointment; the place was a mess. Stanbridge was different; the campus looked not only clean but professional and also provided the students with better technology to enhance the VN program.
SC: What was your biggest lesson learned at Stanbridge College?
WG: I learned many lessons during my time at Stanbridge, but the biggest were discipline and time management. I also learned to grow as an individual on a professional and personal level. It was difficult to deal with different personalities, backgrounds and generations. It helped me realized that I must take pride on what I do and strive for excellence every time. I went to school with this quote in my mind every day: ‘when you are set to be liked by others, you will do and say anything to be accepted…but you will accomplish nothing’.
SC: What was your experience like preparing for and taking the NCLEX exam?
WG: Preparing for the NCLEX was tough. I’m not going to put it pretty. I had to put in practice my time management skills and even though I was not at school I set aside at least 1-2 hours each day to study. The VATI was an important tool of my studying and attending to Ms. Anabel’s NCLEX reviews help me a lot.
SC: What guidance do you want to share with current VN students in Term 1 and 2?
WG: The advice I would give to the students from Term 1 and 2 is: stay focused, study hard, respect your instructors, be different don’t just go with the flow, and pick your battles. Don’t waste your time trying to change things that you may not be able to change instead focus on finishing strong so you can make a real difference once you are out in the real world of nursing.
SC: Tell us about your new or current employment. What do you do?
WG: I’m working for the American Red Cross in the Biomedical Collections Department. I conduct health history screening and blood collection from the donors, I also monitor the donors constantly for any reactions or complication due to donation.
SC: What is your advice for fellow students looking for a job?
WG: My advice is to get to know the company or employer that you are seeking career interviews with. Know their mission statement, their history, etc. Attend the ACE the Interview workshop from Career Services.
SC: What do you hope to achieve in your career as a nurse? Do you want to continue your education in nursing?
WG: I hope to make a difference every day with every patent during my career. I hope for professional advancement and I do want to move up on the ladder of nursing, one step at the time.