Campus & Community

Why I Chose Nursing: Students & Alums Share Their Stories

As a profession, nursing offers opportunities, challenges and some of the greatest rewards. Take a look at why these Simmons students and alums decided to pursue a meaningful career in nursing!

Cynthia Antenor '15

Headshot of Cynthia Antenor

I'm Haitian-American. My parents emigrated from Haiti, so they could work at a chance for a better life. My mother is a certified nursing assistant and she taught me how to be a hard worker — I witnessed her working overtime and two jobs just to give my siblings and me what we needed. 

I’m not sure if this exposure to the health care field made me realize I wanted to be a nurse at a young age, but ever since I can remember I wanted to do just that... I ended up at Simmons and I didn’t realize how great the nursing program was until I experienced it for myself. 

Read Cynthia's story

Christina Guerrier '18

Headshot of Christina Guerrier

Growing up, I noticed the lack of access to health care in my own neighborhood. The nearest hospital was miles away and there was only one local nurse, so everyone was sent to her. I knew I wanted to be like her so I could help others, educate my patients and bring some much-needed changes to the health care systems back home.

I'm very passionate about providing culturally appropriate care, which I define as the ability to adequately care for a patient despite language barriers or cultural differences.

Read Christina's story

Mary Soares '19

Mary Soares on a worksite

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a nurse. My biggest role model is my mom and she's been a nurse for 25 years. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at a young age and vividly remember the commitment, compassion and honesty that I received from the nursing staff during my one week stay at the hospital.

Following my discharge from the hospital, I met frequently with the school nurse, who became an integral part of my diabetes management. I knew then that providing that care for others and putting that passion and integrity into my work is what I'm meant to do.

Read Mary's story

Ella Cornu '20

Ella Cornu after finishing the Boston Marathon

Growing up I had a lot of nurses in my family, including my mom, so I think that really piqued my interest at a young age. I’ve always wanted a career where I could help and support others, and for me that was nursing.

I couldn’t be happier that I’ve chosen this path for myself. I love going into clinical and knowing that I have the ability to brighten someone’s day and be there for them when they need it most. It definitely has its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Read Ella's story

Katie Lawson '20

Katie Lawson in front of the Great Salt Lake.

My mother is a nurse and always told me stories about her patients, highlighting how she made them feel, what she taught them, and what she learned from her interactions. I asked her many questions about medication, managing specific conditions, and strategies for effectively teaching health management.

The combination of my desire to learn about the human body and teach people about their anatomy and health, with the inspiration and support from my mother, drove me to pursue a career in nursing.

Read Katie's story

Cristina Samaniego '20

Headshot of Cristina Samaniego

When I was younger, my grandfather would captivate me with his stories about volunteering at a local hospital. I loved listening to him talk about the various cases and how patients ended up in the emergency room.

In high school, I had an internship at UConn Health where I shadowed a variety of nurses, nurse practitioners and PAs in different fields; it was here that I ultimately decided to become a nurse. I believe nursing is my calling because I love helping people, and one day I want to tell my own stories, just like my grandfather. 

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Sheena Pennie '23

Headshot of Sheena Pennie

My drive to become a nurse comes from my family. My brother fell ill and was in a coma for some time. While standing at his bedside, I decided to go into nursing.

Then two years went by and I had my daughter, and she developed medical conditions. Aside from that, I'm in the medical field for several years as a medical biller.

Read Sheena's story

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