Skip to main content

A nursing student-athlete interview with…Christine Graziano

Senior * Mendham, NJ * Women’s Lacrosse * Attack

Christine Graziano playing lacrosse

Q.     What do you love about your sport?  

I love everything about my sport: the team mentality, the fast pace, the competition. I feel that lacrosse has changed significantly since my freshman year. It is constantly becoming faster, which forces teams to adapt. I love my team, and the bond we have made together. We are extremely close, which makes 7:00 AM lifts and long practices a lot more enjoyable.

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

The rules surprise, and confuse, a lot of people. As I had mentioned earlier, the game has completely transformed in the time span of three years. If you do not constantly keep up with lacrosse, you may find yourself left in the dust. The sport now is most similar to the men’s game than it has ever been,  and is still progressing in that direction.

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

I am most proud to call myself a student-athlete and a nursing student. I am also incredibly proud of my team’s work ethic. I feel as though we are consistently working, both on the field and off, to become the best team we can possibly be. I am proud of the team culture we have built, and feel that it will only improve in the years to come. I anticipate a Big East appearance this year, and possibly even an NCAA tournament appearance as well!

Q.     How would you describe the time commitment?

It is a huge commitment to play a division one sport. In the off-season, we are allowed to practice up to 8 hours a week. In order to supplement the decreased hours, my team often holds captains’ practices. In season, we are allowed to practice 20 hours per week. This does not take into account time spent travelling, playing games, or recovering. Playing a division one sport is the equivalent of working a full time job; that is why we are offered scholarships.

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

Extremely proficient in managing time, driven, self-motivated, goal-oriented, resilient

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

My biggest challenge is finding time outside of class to make up the missed time from practice. Working around my schedule is incredibly difficult, as is missing practice time.

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

I find inspiration in all of the successful nurses who have come before me, and have gone off to accomplish amazing things. I find that learning from their experience here at Villanova, and about what they have continued to achieve is motivated being that I am in the same position as they were. Further, I find inspiration in my patients and their individual stories. I have come to understand that an individual can will himself or herself to do anything he or she puts their mind to. I find that my nursing experience has pushed me athletically because I have confidence in my ability to balance both nursing and lacrosse, and I know that I can push myself to accomplish difficult tasks both on the field and off.

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

I would like to pursue a career in the emergency room, and trauma center.

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

Nursing is worth it. It is most certainly not easy, but nothing worth achieving is ever easy. Work hard, both on the field and off. Develop a relationship with his or her professors, as they will be essential in his or her success. Seek help when needed, and work as a team when studying with peers. Do their best, and know that they can, and will, accomplish whatever they put their mind to.

Q.  Anything else you want to share?

I would just like to thank everyone who has played a part in my experience within the nursing school. Every individual that I have come in contact with has been nothing but helpful in my progression through the alternate sequence. I have had a considerable amount of conflict between my lacrosse schedule and class schedule, but the staff within the nursing school has been key in helping me make as much practice as possible, and providing alternative assignments for when I miss class. I appreciate that the nursing school understands my sport is my passion, as is nursing, and am so thankful that they are willing to work with me in order to see me succeed. I feel as though the nursing school really cares about me as an individual.



"I find inspiration in my patients and their individual stories. I have come to understand that an individual can will himself or herself to do anything he or she puts their mind to."