If patients could pick their nurses, they'd fight over Genevieve Szekely.
The bubbly, bright-eyed honors nursing
student—who graduated just a few weeks ago!—lights up even more when talking about her chosen field of study.
"I just love nursing so much, I love being able to look at someone, talk to them, and work with them to figure out what's wrong and how to make them feel better."
For Szekely, the thrills of nursing are distinctly different than those physicians or surgeons might experience.
"As nurses, we're taught to focus on the person and not just the disease,“ she emphasized. “We're really thinking about what the patient might need to start feeling better. Are they scared or in pain? What's getting in the way besides the obvious health issues?"
This concern for the whole individual is precisely the kind of compassionate support Szekely herself received from Carlow.
"I had a rough first year, I'm going to be honest," Szekely recalled. "I was a pretty quiet girl, I didn't always speak up, but I just decided that I would be involved in as much as possible."
With determination and a little guidance from her teachers, Szekely overcame her initial challenges.
"It was amazing. I could walk into a teacher's office and be stressed out—not just about school but about life or anything that was going on—and he or she would be happy to talk to me, help me calm down, figure things out, and stay positive. Dr. Nash, Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Cupps, they were all so inspiring and helpful. They were my cheerleaders!"
Personalized attention not only helped Szekely thrive, it brought two more members of the Szekely family into the Carlow community. "My sisters Amber and Charlotte saw what a great time I was having, how much I was learning, and they decided to come to Carlow, too," she said. In fact, all three Szekely sisters are focused on caring professions in the health sciences—Amber is a senior biology major and Charlotte is a sophomore deciding nursing major.
As the eldest of six children, Szekely knew that affordability
would be an issue when it came time to choose a school and a field of study. "Carlow made it easy, they offered so much support—not just loans, but scholarships that I don't have to pay back. I'm so grateful," she said.
With graduation behind her, Szekely has set her sights on becoming a nurse practitioner, with dreams of someday coming back to Carlow to teach.
"I was a first year mentor, and I absolutely loved that experience. It was a great way to round out my senior year at Carlow,” said Szekely. “I really care about those kids, and I can definitely see myself doing more of that in the future."
Look out, world, Genevieve Szekely is on her way.
Find out more about Carlow University's Undergraduate Nursing Programs