ABSN Student Leaders Reflect on Graduation and their Emory Nursing Experience

By Andy Goodell, Communications Manager
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

The BSN/ABSN Winter Awards Ceremony will feature two leading student voices, Cory Woodyatt and Stephanie Lee, as speakers during the event. This awards ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. on December 11th at Glenn Memorial Auditorium.

Cory Woodyatt

Woodyatt, originally of Georgetown, Canada near Toronto will earn his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) this month. He says that he was able to form meaningful relationships with the faculty at the School of Nursing that will last well beyond graduation, adding that many of them helped him “see the bigger picture” in the world of nursing. Assistant Clinical Professor Ginny Secor is just one of many faculty whom made an impression on Woodyatt.

“Dr. Secor’s attitude is contagious and her passion for pathophysiology is unprecedented,” says Woodyatt.

Woodyatt also credits Assistant Clinical Professor Ann Horigan with challenging him to think critically in complex and clinically-demanding scenarios, saying, “her experience is evident and her confidence (and comic relief)” put him at ease. He goes on to say that Assistant Clinical Professor Jeannie Weston also pushed him to think critically, adding that her dedication to student success is ever present in her pediatric clinical simulations. Additionally, Woodyatt credits Instructor Rebecca Wheeler with exemplifying nursing leadership and social responsibility to a point where she inspired him to join numerous nursing organizations.

Stephanie Lee

Lee, of Knoxville, Tenn., is also earning her BSN this month. She too credits numerous faculty members with bolstering her success as a student.

“My advisor, Dr. Kate Yeager, has encouraged me every step of the way, even for things not related to nursing school,” says Lee. “Our program chair, Dr. Carolyn Reilly, has done a fabulous job advocating for our class and making sure all of our concerns are addressed. Additionally, my clinical instructor, Takeya Shepherd, taught in my health assessment lab my very first semester and then acted as my role transition preceptor my last semester. It was so fun getting to know her and growing as a nurse under her instruction.”

Not only have faculty members impressed Woodyatt at the School of Nursing, the learning environments at the school have impressed him greatly, as well.

“Aside from access to renowned clinicians and researchers, I appreciated the well-known reputation and caliber of hospitals available to NHWSN students,” says Woodyatt. “The complexities and diversity of the patient populations available at these hospitals affords us incredibly enriched learning opportunities.”

Lee says that she values the true sense of community her cohort has developed.

“My fellow students are exceptional people who are dedicated to their education, their profession, and their patients,” says Lee. “Without the environment of support and encouragement that we have built, Emory would have been a very different place for me.”

As for the future, Woodyatt’s career aspirations are great.

“Whether it’s becoming a Nurse Manager or Chief Nursing Officer, I hope to one day serve as a leader who contributes to a shared vision and oversees strategic design and implementation of evidence-based patient care delivery,” he says. “Until then, I will remain a bedside nurse, most likely in the realm of emergency medicine nursing. Upon graduation, I will join the team at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in their emergency department (ED) as a new graduate nurse.”

Lee sees a similar wide open road of possibilities for her nursing career. After graduation, she will work at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute in the Ambulatory Infusion Center.

“I hope to earn a terminal degree in nursing, whether that be a PhD or DNP, and make a difference in the field of nursing and in the fight against cancer,” says Lee. “My foundation at Emory has provided an incomparable springboard for my future.”

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