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The Buzz

Senior Reflection: Nicole Simeone

Nicole Simeone May 8, 2024

Pursuing a nursing degree during a global pandemic was daunting. Because of the pandemic, my senior year of high school ended suddenly and prematurely. Furthermore, my freshman year of college was full of uncertainty because we were uncertain of if we would be able to continue in person classes or not. Despite this uncertainty, I learned how to adapt to college life and make the most of every day on campus. 

Sophomore year was exciting for me because this is when my core nursing classes started. Learning how to manage the rigorous content and test questions of nursing classes was probably one of the hardest parts of college for me. However, I learned the importance of being open-minded and eager to learn how to think like a nurse over the course of this year. Both sophomore and junior years were times of immense personal and professional growth for me. I grew in my ability to manage stress, communicate with patients and staff, mature in my faith, ask for help, rely on God, and immerse myself in nursing classes. In addition, I became very interested in learning more about how humans behave and think, and how I can better care for people emotionally during my nursing career. As a result, I decided to add minors in both psychology and counseling so that I could take additional coursework that reflected these goals. 

Nicole Simeone and nursing department on Halloween
Nicole, pictured bottom right, on Halloween with
nursing students and professors. 

In one of our nursing classes, we are taught the importance of stretching and growing. The meaning behind this is basically that people must be stretched for growth to occur. All my nursing professors excel at stretching us while also meeting us where we are in our knowledge and clinical skills to encourage us to reach our maximum potential. I am amazed at how much I’ve grown in the past four years here at WU, and I am thankful for the continual encouragement my professors have offered that helped me believe in myself and strive to always keep learning. 

I have a few pieces of advice I wish someone had told me at the beginning of my college career. First, study more than the bare minimum. A lot of people have the mindset that they only need to study enough to pass the class, and while this is true in one sense, I urge you not to fall into this trap. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to study in a way that will enable you to remember the material in the long-term. While not everything students learn in school will be used when you graduate, a lot of it will. For nursing students, all the content we learn during college is information we need to know for the NCLEX. As a result, I would encourage you to have the mindset that what you’re learning in class is going to be important information for you to know for the NCLEX and your career, so it is best to learn the material you are taught in a way you can recall it months and years later. 

Next, I would encourage you to talk to and get to know your professors. One of my favorite parts of Waynesburg University is that we have small classes and we have the opportunity to actually get to know our professors. Each and every professor wants their students to succeed, and they are more than willing to help you during your time here. They are great resources to utilize!

Lastly, get involved in campus activities, clubs, etc. Yes, school is stressful and I just said to study more than you think you should, but it is also very important to learn how to relax and find hobbies and clubs that are meaningful to you.

Nicole Simeone in the Bahamas on a service trip
Nicole, pictured bottom right, on a nursing missions trip.
Nursing students and professors got the opportunity to hand out
hygiene packets to the homeless population in the Bahamas.

College can be very stressful; however, it is also some of the best years of your life. You get to learn about what you are interested in, engage in activities, and be surrounded by friends. I truly am sad to be leaving the wonderful professors, friends, and community I have made at WU over the past four years. However, I am also excited for the future. Prior to college, I enjoyed working as an EMT, so I knew I wanted to try to continue working in emergency medicine as a nurse. As a result, after graduation I will be working as a nurse in the emergency department at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, PA. 

I will forever be thankful for the growth WU has helped me achieve and the memories I have made here. I am excited to start the next chapter of my life knowing that the Waynesburg University Nursing Department has given me everything I need to succeed as a nurse.

Nursing at Waynesburg University

Learn more about the Nursing Program and other nursing offerings at Waynesburg University at the link below.