Deb Tenore Shannon, RN, a student in the College of Nursing’s online RN-BSN program, was a Villanova parent before she became a Villanova student herself. Her daughter Angela Shannon ’11 BSN, RN, a critical care nurse and former Presidential Scholar, definitely had a role in her choice to attend Villanova. Deb saw firsthand the high standards to which Villanova nursing students are held and how they are challenged in both the classroom and the world community. She wanted that same excellence in education.
Deb wanted to be a nurse ever since being hospitalized as a little girl. Being alone in a strange environment with unfamiliar people can be scary for anyone, but she does remember the nurses made her feel safe, secure and hopeful. One nurse in particular left a lasting impression, Deb recalls “She was sitting next to my bed and holding my hand, calming me, as she read 'Curious George Goes to the Hospital'. Right then, I knew I wanted to do that for others.”
Unable to pursue a nursing career after high school, Deb became involved in various outreach programs. She was able to take her passion and desire to care for others to good use through volunteering, and went as far as developing a program, ABBA (Aid to Benefit the Bereaved and Ailing), that provided support to families in crisis. She eventually became a nurse after earning her associate’s degree in the field in 2005.
Today, Deb is a nurse on the Mother-Infant Unit at Lowell General Hospital in central Massachusetts and serves as a mentor and preceptor for nursing students. “I truly enjoy sharing my passion for this work with the next generation,” she notes. Since she envisions moving into nursing education, obtaining her BSN was the next logical step. As an adult learner with a nursing career and a family, attending the traditional brick and mortar school was not an option for her. Already a member of the Villanova family through her daughter, she felt a connection and pull to the College of Nursing. The online RN-BSN program allowed her the convenience and flexibility to accomplish her goals.
Deb’s experience with the online program has been memorable and she feels that it has helped her leave a lasting impression. “Through the community health clinical experience, I was able to provide infant safety education to a culturally-diverse population in which very few families speak or read English. In the first five months of 2015, this community lost five infants to unsafe sleep practices. If not for this program, I might not have been able to do this work, work that I am pleased to say continues in my absence,” she explains. More to come after Deb graduates with her bachelor’s degree in nursing this August.