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Meet Rachel Zlotnick '20 FCN: Thriving on service learning

Rachel Zlotnick

In the basement of Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, Rachel Zlotnick ’20 FCN gathered with several other student members of Nursing Without Borders to minister to homeless men and women. Here, the volunteers washed and cared for the feet of the men and women visiting the shelter – many of whom did not even own socks or shoes that fit them properly. Rachel shared in the efforts of teaching footcare and providing soaps and socks to the men and women. This simple, yet powerful act inspired and motivated Rachel to continue on toward her goal – to be a Villanova Nurse.

Rachel, a lifelong Glastonbury, Conn. resident could have chosen from one of the 15 other nursing programs she had applied to. She remembers being impressed by the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing’s fourteen state-of-the-art clinical labs and the suite of simulators, including one that performs a “live” birth, the emphasis the College placed on holistic care, and the strong liberal arts foundation she’d receive. She was excited by the high job placement and NCLEX first-time pass rates, in addition to the opportunity to complete clinical rotations at top clinical sites, including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She was sold.

Rachel thrives on experiential learning while making a difference in the community. Just recently, Rachel was accepted as one of four Villanova nursing students into the Madagascar Service Learning Internship – “a service learning opportunity where students can apply their academic skills in a practical setting”. Based in the town of Mananjary, along the eastern coast of Madagascar, Rachel will participate in health activities targeting mother and child health which include Care Groups, domestic visits, and nutrition visits with a focus on pregnant and lactating mothers, in addition to the opportunity to work with and shadow Community Health Workers. “I expect this service experience to be truly life-changing. Through this internship I will be able to pursue my passions of global health and nursing and actively promote the health of women and children within the communities I work in. After the eight weeks, I hope to not only depart from the service site a richer person both faithfully and culturally, but also leave the community more aware and informed.”

Rachel is an extremely motivated student, but also enjoys the every day, relaxed life Villanova provides on campus. She loves spending time with her friends, exploring the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and sneaking out for a sushi dinner.

Arch Street United Methodist Church
Arch Street United Methodist Church, Philadelphia