Stephanie Austin, Fuld Fellow (ABS Program)

About Stephanie

Stephanie Austin.
  • Program: ABS Nursing
  • Hometown: Burt, NY
  • Favorite Self-Care Activity: Meditating and listening to music
  • Previous Education: Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science, Biology, Canisius College; Associate of Science Liberal Arts, Math and Science, Niagara County Community College

Why nursing?

As an undergraduate student, I was a biology major with a pre-med concentration, and my goal at the time was to go to medical school. After working as a laboratory director in a non-medical related field for nearly five years, I honestly felt like my passion for the medical field and life sciences was being wasted. I could not escape the feeling that I was absolutely meant to be doing something in health care and working with patients.

After the birth of my second son and years of working in operations management, I realized that I no longer wanted to work to build someone else’s dream; it was time to start working towards achieving my own. I began exploring my options and deciding what route I wanted to take to become a health care practitioner. 

I decided that pursuing a nursing degree would allow me the opportunity to put my passion and skills to use in a field and specialty that interests me and also to advance my career by continuing my education.  Becoming an RN will be the first step in finally realizing my ultimate goal of becoming a health care practitioner.

Why UB?

I chose the University at Buffalo School of Nursing for my nursing education for a few reasons. First, since I was a returning student with a family to support, the accelerated program that UB offered was extremely attractive to me, and I wanted to earn my degree in as little time as possible. Secondly, the reputation of UB School of Nursing is outstanding, and the opportunities afforded to the nursing students during clinical rotations and to the graduates of UB’s nursing program is unmatched by other institutions.

Areas of Interest

There are so many areas of nursing and specialties that I am interested in, but I would have to say that due to my affinity for detail, critical care is at the top of my list. In 2012, my partner at the time was in a near fatal Jet Ski accident, and he spent about three weeks in the trauma ICU at ECMC with only the smallest likelihood of survival. I spent every single day in the TICU talking with the nurses and doctors caring for him and spent countless hours talking with families of patients who were also in the TICU.

The knowledge that these nurses had was absolutely remarkable. My interactions with them throughout this delicate time really opened my eyes to the importance of providing thorough outstanding care to critical care patients and really sparked my interest in this field.

Activities and Accolades

I prefer to spend my time enjoying my children, jogging or doing yoga.  When the weather is nice I enjoy soaking up the sun and paddle boarding or taking the opportunity to get my kids outside to hike the gorge in Niagara Falls.

I also volunteer at Stella Niagara Education Park where my son attends a montessori program, offering my time to assist at school events and fundraisers.

What's Next

After graduating and successfully completing the state board exam, I plan to start my career at a local hospital, hopefully in critical care or a specialty of my choosing. Ideally, I want to continue my education as early as possible so I can advance my degree and work towards becoming a nurse practitioner. I will likely apply to UB’s DNP Early Assurance Program.