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Finding the right note with Nursing

Caroline Cohen
Caroline at a veteran's home in San Antonio.

Already freshman Caroline Cohen has had some unique experiences here at Villanova. From scrambling onto the football field at halftime to form the “V” to travelling to California for the Women’s NCAA basketball tournament, this member of the Villanova Band has certainly seen a lot. “Nurse Caroline,” as she’s affectionately known by her band-mates, is the only nursing student in the group. She hails from Wilton, Conn.

Though playing the flute here has certainly opened up unique opportunities, Caroline feels that the College of Nursing also has much to offer.  “I attended the Nursing Open House during the spring of my junior year and was so inspired and impressed by the students and faculty and what I could accomplish here that I narrowed my career focus to nursing and my college first choice to Villanova.”

Aside from the prospect of getting a head start with hands-on nursing during her sophomore year through clinical rotations, she was deeply interested in a minor in business and global health experiences—both offered with a Villanova Nursing education.

Looking back, her interests in nursing surfaced long before her teenage years. When she was in 5th grade, she visited her grandfather in Pittsburgh who was hospitalized with cancer. Two things about that experience, Caroline recalls, have always stuck with her, “One, the care and attention he got from the nurses and how much he appreciated their company. The other, seeing all the newborn babies wrapped in Terrible Towels, the symbol of Pittsburgh Steelers football team (who were playing in the playoffs at the time). The nurses had their own Terrible Towels to brighten the mood on the floor. Ever since then, I have thought about how it could be me one day taking care of new born babies and wrapping them in Terrible Towels, or putting a smile on someone’s face, just like my grandfather.”

A senior internship during her last four weeks of high school influenced this decision as well.  Instead of attending school every day, she interned on the oncology unit at a local hospital near her hometown. There she accompanied nurses to private chemotherapy rooms as well as the group therapy. She got the chance to observe the different roles of RNs, nurse practitioners, and nurse navigators in this department.

 “I always have been interested in chemistry and biology, so I considered a medical career but nursing stood out because of the extraordinary opportunities within the profession,” Caroline notes.  “With nursing, there is such a broad range of options; I could work with patients in a variety of disciplines and specialties,” she says, excited about her future.