As a new graduate of the College of Nursing, Caroline Kemp’s chosen path is anything but typical. While most new nurses launch their careers on various types of hospital units, Caroline made the decision to spend her first year after graduation volunteering for an Augustinian year of service.
With multiple sites across the United States, and one location in Peru, the Augustinian programs help underserved individuals in numerous ways. As a new registered nurse, Caroline works at the Saint Vincent de Paul Clinic in San Diego, California. The clinic, staffed with a full medical team, serves the local homeless population, either living at the Saint Vincent de Paul Village or on the streets. “We care for patients who are enduring every kind of illness under the sun,” notes Caroline, “I have learned so much, from wound care to what to do in an emergency. This experience has really shaped me as a nurse and as an individual.”
Caroline believes her undergraduate experience at Villanova helped to prepare her for her responsibilities at the clinic. She explains that the work she does every day embodies one of the most important tenets taught at Villanova’s College of Nursing. “As nurses, we must treat the whole person and their family members, not just the illness,” says Caroline. When asked what experience stands out the most, she states that every day provides her with a meaningful experience. Recently, she had the privilege of working with a man who was recovering from abdominal surgery, with a wound left open due to infection.