May Alumni Spotlight: Kellee Heaton ’16, BSN, RN

Name: Kellee Heaton, BSN, RN
Grad Year: 2016
Program: Nursing
Current Title: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo

1) What led you to the Nursing Program at Trocaire? Why did you want to explore the healthcare field?

After doing a semester at another college in another program and ultimately deciding that wasn’t for me, I looked into nursing. I always knew I wanted to be in healthcare, I just didn’t know what part would fit me best. I was interested in nursing because it had much more hands-on care than other parts of the medical field I looked into. What led me to Trocaire and their nursing program was the smaller size of the school and classes. They had lots of opportunities to get help from your teachers or tutors outside of class. Also being as small as it was, your professors knew you and always wanted to help if needed.

2) Describe your Trocaire experience. What does Trocaire mean to you?

My experience at Trocaire was great. I had great professors that actually cared about you and made sure you understood the content we were learning. Trocaire represents one of the hardest but most rewarding times in my life. I met one of my best friends there. We went through prerequisite classes and the nursing program together. We entered our careers together and are still great friends today.

3) What is the most important thing you took away from Trocaire? Were there any obstacles or challenges to obtaining your education?

The most important thing I took away from Trocaire is my love for my career and the critical thinking skills needed in nursing. From the first semester learning the very fundamentals of nursing to the fourth semester preparing for the NCLEX, my love for nursing grew. The biggest obstacle I had while I was obtaining my education was being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the end of my second semester in the nursing program. It was a huge lifestyle adjustment on top of the difficulty of nursing school. It was one of the hardest times in my life but I got through it. If anything, it gave me a better understanding of those going through illness.

4) What do you do now and why do you love it?

I am currently a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse. I just recently made this change in my career, but I love what I am doing now. I love being able to help and comfort some of the smallest patients. It is also rewarding being able to comfort their parents through hard times when they are not always able to be with their children. I feel like I have found the area of nursing I was meant to be in.

5) Any advice you like to share to new nurses or someone interested in Trocaire?

The best advice I could give to new nurses is don’t give up because nursing, especially right now, is very overwhelming. There is a lot that you learn outside of and after nursing school. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions. Nursing is one of the hardest but most rewarding careers, and you can do so much in this field. For anyone interested in Trocaire I would say if you’re looking for small class sizes and a lot of support outside of the classroom, Trocaire is for you.