In the days leading up to Shannon Cartwright’s first day as a nurse in the Surgical ICU at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, she was hit with nerves.
As a 2020 graduate of the traditional bachelor’s nursing science program, she did well in school – but she wasn’t sure what to expect from the transition to professional nursing.
Luckily, those fears were quickly driven away when she was reminded of her educational preparedness.
“On my first day of work, I realized I was head and shoulders above my peers in terms of clinical experience,” Cartwright says.
As she went about her day and took on more tasks, she realized that the opportunities she had to practice a variety of clinical skills at UB where what set her apart from her colleagues.
“My preceptor was very surprised at my degree of clinical knowledge,” Cartwright says. “According to her, I had a firm understanding of many concepts essential to critical care, such as hemodynamic monitoring, that many new grads do not. From medication passes to assessments to venipuncture, I was able to perform these skills with confidence and make a great first impression.”
Cartwright attributes her readiness to the academic standards that she was held to at the School of Nursing. It was that experience, paired with her drive to further expand her clinical knowledge, that led her to enroll in UB's Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program to earn her doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
“I love the science of health care and I love being at the bedside caring for patients,” she says. “Earning my DNP allows me to get the best of both worlds. I am excited to take on a provider role and maintain the holistic nursing framework!”
Upon earning her DNP, Cartwright hopes to get her acute care certification so that she can continue her career in the ICU.
“The beauty of being an FNP with a certification in acute care is that I can go anywhere with my career,” she explains. “Having a DNP also allows me to take on leadership roles if I want to. I don’t know exactly what my end title will be, but I am confident I will be able to find my dream job once I earn my DNP.”
Shannon lives in Webster, New York, where she likes to spend her time exploring new restaurants and bars and enjoying boating and fishing.
Published October 12, 2020