By: CHRISTINA CLARK
Alecia de León has achieved so much in four years, attended two Indiana University campuses, and landed in a field she has grown passionate about: Nursing.
“After graduating from John Adams high school in 2013, I had always wanted to attend an Indiana University,” de León said, “I accepted an offer from IUPUI, where I spent my freshman year before returning home.”
“I have always been interested in health care. However, it wasn’t until I accepted a position at Memorial Hospital as a patient care assistant in 2014 that I was able to work hands-on with the heart and vascular nursing staff and fall in love with this career,” she said.
And that was it—she knew what she had to do. She applied to IUSB and figured out which classes would best prepare her to prepare for the nursing program.
Looking at the outside at a career is a lot different from living it, de León said.
“I honestly did not have a full understanding of the many hats that nurses wear, and we as students have an opportunity in clinical rotations to see just a snippet of the routes that nurses can take after graduation.
“The most rewarding part of being in the program is the opportunity to work with Northside’s fourth floor staff. I feel extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to work with such a passionate set of nursing instructors,” de León said. “On the weeks that we have two exams and are changing clinical rotations, their doors are always open to provide positive feedback and encourage alternative strategies to improve ourselves academically.”
The fourth floor in Northside houses the offices for the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences. The school was expanded in 2016 using IUSB’s largest gift to date of $5.85 million dollars to expand offerings and enrich the program.
“I am technically a senior in college, but I am traditionally what the program considers to be a junior in the program, where we have the opportunity to experience pediatrics, obstetrics and [medical surgery nursing],” de León said of the structure of the program.
Graduation looms on the horizon for de León, as at her current pace she is set to graduate in the spring of 2018.
“As a student, I think many would agree that time management is the most challenging. Especially for some students who also have families, jobs and extracurricular activities outside of school. Although reading, studying and practicing skill is a major part of each semester, it is important to individualize yourself and find what habits work best for you in your situation,” she said. “I was most surprised by how above and beyond the professors are willing to go, they truly want to see every student succeed, and that to me is the foundation for our program.”
De León’s family is a strong support network while she juggles school and other responsibilities, like her job outside of class and clinicals.
“I am most inspired by family members who have always encouraged me to give it my all. They have always kept me motivated and given me positive feedback when I needed it most. I think that support is essential for such a tough program,” she said.
The words that remind her to keep going the most? Her mother’s: “You’re almost there, don’t give up now, ambitious girl.”
It’s true—with her drive, passion and support from both school and family—de León has a bright future ahead.