A Degree of Care

by Web Services

Faculty help nursing student Sarah Wasley balance challenging, hands-on academics with women’s soccer.

It’s never easy balancing athletics and academics. Lucky for Sarah Wasley, a senior nursing major and midfielder on Wilkes’ women’s soccer team, she has the support of her faculty every step of the way.

“Every professor I’ve had has been great with that. They’ll meet with me outside of class to review notes with me and they’ll set aside extra time so I can make sure I’m keeping up,” says Wasley, of Whitehall, Pa. “My coach is willing to help out too. Everyone is very flexible, but the academics always come first.”

That includes real-world clinical experience starting in sophomore year. A few days every week, Wasley visits a local hospital to help the on-site nurses and learn from them firsthand.

The clinical experience comprises surgical, pediatric and geriatric nursing, as well as pharmacology. This comprehensive, real-world approach is a cornerstone of the Wilkes philosophy.

“Today’s student is tomorrow’s colleague,” reasons Sherry Daughtry, Wasley’s clinical instructor. “Mentorship is very important in the nursing profession. When I’m sick and in need of health care, I want the people taking care of me to have the most current and up-to-date education, and I encourage my students to pay it forward.”

At Wilkes, Wasley “pays it forward” in more ways than one. Her education includes five hours of community service for every clinical course she takes. So far, Wasley has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and the Ruth’s Place women’s shelter Walk for Hope, and she has helped at a local soup kitchen.

“It’s been such a valuable experience to learn not only the clinical aspect, but to also give back and realize that, as nurses, we’re going to being help people that are less fortunate,” Wasley says. “To be able to go out and experience that firsthand has had a big impact on me.”

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