We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Kate Rohrer ‘21
2+2 Nursing Program
“I have always loved to serve and knew from a young age that nursing was my calling,” explains Kate Rohrer. Having earned her Associate’s degree in 2019, Kate is now working toward her Bachelor’s degree. She originally chose PA College because of the many successful nurses she knows who are alumni. Among them is her grandmother, Elsie Shank Rohrer – a 1961 graduate of the then Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing. “I have always been intrigued by the opportunity that nursing provides to meet, love and care for so many different people,” Kate explains. “Knowing of the amazing programs that PA College had to offer and the new, state of the art campus made my decision a no-brainer. My favorite part of the PA College program has been the faculty and fellow students that I have met along the way. Going to school with so many people working towards the same goal is inspiring.” Kate plans to one day continue her education beyond her BSN degree and is considering becoming a nurse educator herself.
Kate also works as an RN on a general medical-surgical floor at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital. Beginning her career during the last few months has been a unique and difficult experience, but Kate shares: “I am so thankful for the education that I received at PA College for helping me to be confident in my knowledge and abilities as a new nurse.” While she’s not working directly with COVID-19 patients, part of Kate’s role under these extraordinary circumstances has been to help relieve her patients’ anxieties over being hospitalized at this time, without the comforting presence of their families. “I am extremely inspired by the outpouring of support from Lancaster community members and staff members. Although challenging, it is an extremely rewarding time to be a nurse,” adds Kate.
Outside of work and school, Kate volunteers at her church teaching a Kindergarten Sunday School class and a middle school youth group. Her favorite hobbies involve being outside, such as gardening, kayaking, hiking and trips to the beach.
Owen Howson ‘18
Clinical Supervisor, Catheterization Lab, UPMC Pinnacle
After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Elizabethtown College, Owen Howson ’18 took a job as a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) with UPMC Pinnacle to learn more in the health care setting. After working on a med surg/oncology floor, he transferred to the emergency department. It was there that Owen was introduced to the cardiac catheterization lab and he was hooked. He enrolled in PA College and earned a cardiovascular invasive specialty certificate in 2018. After becoming a Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist, Owen transferred to the Catheterization Lab where he performs heart catheterizations, interventional radiology, and electrophysiology procedures.
Owen is also now a Clinical Supervisor, responsible for solving issues before they become problems, streamlining the case load, and addressing staff concerns while still being present within procedures. “I am overjoyed with the opportunity to both give to the experienced and hard-working staff while also being able to provide life-saving procedures to our patient population,” notes Owen.
Looking back over his career so far, Owen shares: “It is a humbling experience to put yourself into the servitude role of health care. You are helping people in some of their hardest moments…and without the risks I’ve taken, I would have never had the rewards of making such great friends, of touching so many lives, and of having so many wonderful and memorable experiences.” Owen credits his education at PA College with helping him to provide for his family and give back to others. “We quickly became a family, and the support of my classmates and professors helped me to be successful. Every aspect of the program was helpful and applicable to the real world.”
When not busy at the hospital, Owen enjoys daily walks with his wife and their dog, gardening adventures, hunting and fishing, and being in the Worship Team for Mt. Calvary United Methodist Church. He adds: “I thank God for everything that He has provided through His love. And a shout out to the CIS/EP Class of 2018; we may have spread out across the United States, but we are never apart in our friendships and memories.”
Seeking People of PA College
Do you know an exceptional current student or alumnus whose experiences and accomplishments would help tell the PA College story? Or someone who has overcome an obstacle or reached a challenging milestone during their PA College experience? Please email your suggested names (and identify them in one of these categories) to Karen Jenkins. Self-nominations are also welcome!