Curiosity and Diverse Experiences Lead to Public Health Career Goals
As a high school student, Julie Enos was looking for a multidimensional role for her future career. She found it as she dug deeper as a volunteer junior ambassador at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. While delivering food and reading material on the clinical infusion and radiation floors, she was observing those around her. “I was able to see the role nurses played in their patients’ lives in some of their best and hardest moments. The compassion combined with cutting edge scientific research inspired me to study nursing,” says the senior, an Arlington, Mass. native.
Julie also knew from her mother Nancy, a nurse practitioner, that advanced practice could be a future career aspiration also, a goal that was one of several cultivated further at the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing over the last four years. “I chose Villanova because the faculty take great pride in the students and encourage growth. The emphasis on research and evidenced based practice is at the forefront the nursing education. The ability to study both nursing and global health drew me to the program because I can eventually see myself working in public health.”
Julie appreciates the variety of clinical experiences she has had as a nursing student, including in ORs, ICUs, rehabs, nurse-run clinics and religious institutions. “A moment that always sticks out to me occurred while working with a patient I had grown to know very well. When I noticed a change in mental status, I reported it to her nurse and then eventually the charge nurse. It turns out she had a previously undiagnosed urinary tract infection,” she recalls. “Ultimately, I was able to learn the importance of building relationships with my patients and advocating for them. I am so thankful for the nurses who have challenged and taught me in all of my clinical experiences.”
After realizing she had an interest in public health, Julie pursued the College’s interdisciplinary global health minor starting freshman year. “The minor was an integral part of my nursing education by enhancing my knowledge and appreciation when caring for patients in varying cultures and settings,” she explains. She presented on organ donation and trafficking at a Global Health Research Symposium. Another benefit of the minor? “After taking classes such as international health and epidemiology for the minor, I have been able to have a much better understanding of the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
Through her involvement in Villanova’s Nursing Without Borders, Julie has volunteered to serve the vulnerable in foot care clinics, blood pressure clinics and the Unity Clinic in Philadelphia. She further expanded her global perspective as a Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholar, taking a course in international health and nursing and studying in Beijing, China at the end of junior year. “Traveling to Beijing helped me understand the different roles nurses hold globally, through nurse-run clinics and community health centers. Additionally, it was important to take part in classes and research symposiums in multiple universities to see the integration of science and technology in some of their emerging graduate programs,” she notes.
Julie has taken her nursing knowledge and put it into practice over the last two years working as a patient care assistant at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “The experience I’ve had so far on an intermediate medical unit has been such an important part of my education and success in clinical rotations,” she shares.
In the fall, Julie’s academic and leadership success led to her induction into the College’s Alpha Nu Chapter of Sigma, nursing’s international honor society. She broadened her horizon’s outside nursing as well while at Villanova, including involvement in the New Student Orientation Program and Greek life throughout her college career. Building on her high school experience playing ice hockey, Julie balanced the rigor of sports and the nursing curriculum in college.
“The Women’s Club Ice Hockey Program has been a constant community and family for the past four years,” says Julie. This winter, the team made it to the championship finals after bringing grit and tenacity for a hard-fought win in the semis. A team leader, Julie served as the vice president and first aid responder for three years. “In my senior year, I had the opportunity to be a co-captain and help create the role of player-coach,” she notes.
“I don’t know many students who can say that have had identical experiences with their peers. I think this is a great testament to a Villanova Nursing education as well as the greater Villanova community,” Julie explains. She is grateful for the opportunities that were available and the environment that enabled her to create others. “The faith and love that is overwhelmingly part of the community became part of my daily life as a student. My professors and clinical instructors turned into role models, my classmates and teammates turned into my best friends,” recalls Julie.
After graduation, Julie looks forward to launching her career on a general medical unit and sees a potential future as a nurse practitioner.
Julie’s advice to future Villanova Nurses? “I would approach every new situation and learning experience ready to ask questions.”