Kaitlin (McCleary) Schroeder ('14)
After graduating in August, I was able to take the NCLEX in September and pass on the first try with only 75 questions. I know it was from all the preparation of this faculty and the encouragement and dedication to making us stronger nurses. I also finally see now how important the ATI program turned out to be. I received a job offer at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus. I had worked there over the last 3 years and was able to keep a contingent position while in school at Ashland. After graduation, I picked up more shifts before the NCLEX and was offered a job without even applying. I started at the end of October, one week after my honeymoon, on a trauma intermediate unit. I started out on nights and after three months they gave me the opportunity to move to days. Some days I have to pinch myself knowing that I am a real nurse and am doing what I have worked so hard to do. Every day I go into work excited because I know I am going to learn something new and will have the ability to help my patients. This is an amazing honor and privilege. In March, I went to the Statehouse to advocate for suicide prevention with members of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). I remember in school a few teachers going over the legislative process and the power nurses can have in government. I never believed I would be one of those nurses. After that day, I was blown away by the ability to be able to speak on the behalf of patients. I was shocked by the instant respect I received from our state's lawmakers when I said I was a nurse. In April, I started volunteering for a not-for-profit health clinic in a low socioeconomic area of Columbus. This afforded me the opportunity to give back to the community and be able to use the knowledge that I have gained over the last two years of my nursing training. Maybe one day I will move up to an ICU position or maybe even go back to school for my NP, but for now I am happy and could not be more thankful for the role all of you played in this. Ashland will always have a warm spot in my heart. I made great friends in our class and still keep in touch with several of my classmates. Maybe it was the small class size of the accelerated program, but I will always cherish that group of people. Thank you again for everything you have done. I truly appreciate it.