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A nursing student-athlete interview with…Jason Applegate

Senior * Columbus, NJ * Baseball * Right Handed Pitcher

Jason Applegate pitches for Villanova.

Q.     What do you love about your sport?  

I love the game of baseball because it includes both an individual and team aspect in order to win. As a pitcher, you are competing directly with the hitter in the batter’s box. Once the pitch is thrown, however, it is up to the team to field the ball or throw the runner out. I love this team aspect.

Q.     What would surprise people about your sport or how you execute?   

Since I am mild mannered most of the time, it would surprise people that I am very intense during competition. To me, there is no better feeling than working hard in order to help the team succeed. When either myself or one of my teammates helps the team win, I will show it.

Q.     What are you most proud of in terms of personal or team accomplishments?

I am extremely proud of the resiliency that my team possesses on a daily basis. After a few below-average seasons, my team could have given up. Instead, during the lowest of lows, we decided to work harder. We consistently push ourselves in the weight room, at practice, and on our own time in order to improve our status throughout the Big East.

On an individual basis, I am very proud that I am within the top 10 all-time for appearances throughout a career for any pitcher that has come through the program. This is a testament to my consistent hard-working mentality that I have possessed throughout my career.

Q.     How would you describe the time commitment?

The time commitment between nursing school and baseball is very intense. However, it is not impossible. For example, a typical day consists of class from 8:30-11:30/1:20, practice from 1:30 to 4:30/5, and then two hours of studying (give or take) per day. The most challenging aspect to my day is finding healthy food options and maintaining a solid sleep schedule.

Q. What characteristics does someone needs to be a successful nursing student-athlete?

To be a successful nursing student-athlete, one must possess good time management skills as well as solid study habits. Sports help you figure out a schedule that works for you. The challenge is sticking to it. Realistically, no one wants to study after a long day of class, lift, and practice. It’s imperative that we remember that our hardships now correlate to the care we provide our patients in the future. If we do not work hard, we are putting our future patients at risk.

Q. What are your biggest challenges as a nursing student-athlete?  

The biggest challenges I face as a nursing-student athlete include healthy eating habits and a consistent sleep schedule. As an athlete, we do not have a lot of time between class and practice to cook/buy healthy food options to fuel our day. Most of the time we grab a protein bar or shake to help hold us over, which we know isn’t as good for you as a premade meal.

As a nursing major, our sleep is typically diminished as it is. I have found throughout the years that I cannot stay up until 1am studying if I want to perform at my highest level both academically and athletically the next day. Personally, I have found that waking up earlier in the morning allows me to get the necessary sleep I need to complete my day.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration as either an athlete or nursing student?  

My inspiration stems from my parents, teachers, and coaches. My parents have engrained into my thought pattern to never give up or defeat myself when times get challenging. My teachers consistently push my limits academically in order to prepare me to be the best nurse I can be for my patients. Finally, my coaches test me on daily basis to expand my athletic skills through competition. All three of these dimensions consistently inspire me to become the best that I can be in every aspect of my life.

Q.     What do you want to do with your nursing career?  

After graduation, I strive to work in an Intensive Care Unit somewhere within the City of Philadelphia or throughout New Jersey. After gaining experience within this setting, I aim to go back to school to attain a Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus in Anesthesia (CRNA). Although these are my present goals, they are always subject to change.

Q.     What advice would you give an incoming nursing student-athlete?  

If I were to speak to an incoming nursing student-athlete, I would advise them to always think of the patient when performing a task. Always give 100% effort in every aspect of life, because you do not want to look back and say, “I should have worked harder at this.” You will be able to become the most academically and athletically sound individual you want yourself to be here at Villanova.

Q.  Anything else you want to share?

Do not be afraid to be different. I am one of four males in the senior class that study Nursing here at Villanova. In addition to this, I am the first baseball player to enter and complete the program. Do not be afraid to change a stigma of nursing that revolves around it just being for women. We provide great insight for the profession!



"Do not be afraid to be different. I am one of four males in the senior class that study Nursing here at Villanova...and the first baseball player to enter and complete the program."