Julia Jacobs '14 - Registered Nurse

Helping people is in Julia Jacobs' blood...literally.

Ever since she was a little girl growing up in the small town of Pleasant Valley, Connecticut, aiding and comforting those in need has been a family affair.

"When I was 12-years-old there was a car accident in front of my house and my dad, who was the volunteer fire chief in our town, was helping the people involved.  And of course, there I was, shadowing him and comforting the people who were in the accident, and offering them tea," she recalled.

Eventually, Jacobs would follow in her father's footsteps by becoming both a volunteer firefighter and certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  It was only logical that when she started looking at colleges, she would pursue a career in a similar field.


"I applied everywhere looking for the best nursing program, but Curry was the only place that when I visited, it really felt like home.  I liked the idea of being on a beautiful, wooded college campus as opposed to being in the middle of the city."

It also didn't hurt that Curry was a stone's throw from some of the best hospitals in the world, just seven miles from Boston.  Jacobs was also impressed with Curry's Nursing Program board exam pass rates.

"I believe Curry has almost a 98 percent pass rate on their boards which is amazing. Another huge advantage to attending Curry was that I would get to start clinical rotations during my sophomore year, where some other schools didn't allow students to start until their junior year. So that's a whole year more of experience that I would have over somebody in the same program at a different school."

In 2012, Jacobs completed a clinical rotation at nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Milton.  She worked in the surgical unit, tending to pre- and post-operation patients, and was tasked with a wide range of responsibilities.

"We assisted the primary nurses by taking patient vitals, helping them get washed up, get dressed, eat breakfast, get out of bed and move around after their surgeries.  I also had the opportunity to perform dressing changes, give medicine and even administer shots.  It's really exciting when you actually get to practice what we've been learning in the classroom."

And that learning takes place in Curry's Nursing Sim Lab on campus, where students are able to study in a real world setting throughout their time at Curry. That gives them confidence once they are working in an actual hospital. 

"We'd go to Sim Lab for about an hour and a half, once a week, and that's where we learned all the basic skills in order to succeed in our clinical rotations. The lab has pretty much everything that a hospital has, including a simulated medical room with IV bags and pumps, a counter with all different types of drugs and pills, a code cart, a variety of Simulation Mannequins and even a Sim Baby!"

The lab is also equipped with a webcam, which nursing faculty members use to film their students in action.  That way students can review see where they may have made mistakes and correct their techniques on the fly.

Not only did Jacob's nursing professors provide students with classroom skills which translated into the professional world, they brought their own real-world experience with them into the classroom.

"The nursing instructors are just awesome. Almost all of them are still full practicing nurses, so they would come in every week with different stories about their own patients.  Having them share those experiences was great for us as students."

Jacobs also worked as a student ambassador in the Curry Office of Admissions, and as a First-Year Honors peer mentor as well, helping First-Year students make a smooth transition into college life, both inside and outside the classroom.

In her spare time, Jacobs enjoyed going into Boston and joining the Curry Up and Go trips to places like Salem and Six Flags Amusement Park.  But she also liked just hanging out with friends, watching movies and, of course, her favorite TV show.

Thanks to her experiences at Curry, Jacobs immediately secured a position as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department at Hartford Hospital after graduating in 2014.


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