Alumna Shares Her Accelerated Ascent into Nursing

Natalie Argueta.

Natalie Argueta, BS '21, is a graduate of our acclerated bachelor of science in nursing program.

By Shannon O'Sullivan

Published March 26, 2024

Natalie Argueta shares how UB's accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program prepared her for a versatile career.

Natalie Argueta became acquainted with her current patient population of older adults at an early age.

Argueta’s mother worked at a nursing home. She often tagged along during her shifts, as her mother was a single parent.

“I’d hang out in the dining halls, the game rooms and the courtyard with the residents,” she said. “That’s how I learned compassion and caring.”

Argueta currently works as a nurse at the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center (ADMDC), a Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease (CEAD) – operating under UB’s  Department of Neurology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

As part of the ADMDC team, Argueta exemplifies the nursing field’s versatility: she assists with clinical research trials; provides care in the outpatient clinic; and conducts community outreach to educate health care providers about the increasing prevalence of dementia and memory loss resulting from a marked increase in the older adult population in the United States

“We feel like it’s really important that healthcare professionals, especially in the Western New York area, are educated about [dementia],” she explained. “The more people know how to care for these people, the better quality of life we can provide them.”

Argueta is a graduate of UB’s accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program – a rigorous, 12-month course of study designed for students pursuing nursing as a second bachelor’s degree. She earned a BA in Psychology and Sociology with a Criminal Justice certificate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst before relocating to Buffalo. While earning her first bachelor’s, she also worked at a residential nursing facility.

Given her interdisciplinary academic background and experience working with older adults, Argueta exceled in the program. She also earned a Fuld scholarship to fund her nursing studies. Although the accelerated track poses challenges for each class of students, Argueta had to adapt to a major obstacle: she started her nursing degree in May 2020.

“The most challenging part was that it was during COVID,” she said.

Argueta credits her instructors for how they adapted the curriculum for online learning under unprecedented circumstances. She also said the pandemic created an even closer and more supportive bond with her cohort, which numbered around 50 students.

“That’s a tightknit group to begin with,” she noted. “The fact that there was COVID on top of that really brought the whole group together.”

She shared that the peer support she received from three of her friends from the program, who remain close, was invaluable. Even when they weren’t attending classes together via Zoom, they would spend most of the day together either quietly studying or socializing via videoconferencing.

“We would spend every waking moment together on Zoom,” she said. “You had to be able to have that feeling of someone else going through it.”

Argueta’s advice for those interested in pursuing nursing as a second career is to volunteer or work in a hospital or nursing home to gain an understanding of how multifaceted nursing is.

“Being a nurse is being extremely knowledgeable … it’s being a technician, you have to be good at computers … you have to be a leader… [you’ve] got to be creative,” she said.

Argueta cites the versatile nature of her current position as one of the best aspects of working in the nation’s most trusted profession.

“Whether it’s [seeing] patients, whether it’s outreach, whether it’s clinical trials,” she explained, “I like all aspects of what I’m doing now.”

Media Contact Information

Sarah Goldthrite
Director of Marketing, Communications & Alumni Engagement
School of Nursing
105 Beck Hall (South Campus)
Tel: 716-829-3209