People of PA College: December 2018 Edition

by Karen Jenkins December 5, 2018

People of PA College: December 2018 Edition

We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:

Student Spotlight

Hollie Koester ’21

2 + 2 Nursing Program

The residents of the retirement home where Hollie Koester works have often told her that she’d make a great nurse, thanks to the easy way she connects with them and her obvious love for her job. Encouraged by this experience to pursue a career in geriatric nursing, she is now enrolled in our 2 + 2 nursing program, to earn her ASN degree, and then her BSN degree by 2021. Hollie first visited PA College as a high school senior, touring campus with her father, after the daughter of one of his colleagues (herself a graduate) recommended our nursing program.

Tragically, Hollie’s father passed away from a massive heart attack nine months later. On her first day of clinicals, as she walked into the simulation spaces in the Center for Excellence in Practice, Hollie felt an overwhelming sense of her father’s presence in this space which she had last visited with him. And several weeks later, Hollie took part in a simulation exercise with a standardized patient actor, playing the role of Joseph William, which was her late father’s name. So in spite of the pain of her loss, “I definitely knew he was there with me and it was a good feeling,” shared Hollie. She is also encouraged by how supportive her instructors have been, noting that they are always available to help students when they need it.

Currently living in York, PA, Hollie’s family is from Buffalo, NY, a place as close to her heart. In her free time outside of class and work, Hollie likes to watch Netflix and hang out with family and friends. She recently became engaged, to a PA College alumni, Dylan Barley, who earned his Radiology degree in 2017.

Alumni Spotlight

Olivia Harrison, RN, ASN ‘16

Neuro/Trauma Nurse, Tufts Medical Center

“Before attending PA College, I did not have clear sense for what I wanted in a career. I had started at University of New Hampshire with an interest in education. When I moved to PA and decided to pursue nursing, PA College was a great fit,” shares 2016 ASN graduate, Olivia Harrison. Attracted by the quality and flexibility of our nursing program, Olivia recalls that during her student experience she was challenged in many ways, but also supported along the way by strong faculty and staff.

After completing her degree, Olivia launched her career at Lancaster General Hospital while also working for two years to earn her BSN degree in an online program. She then returned to her native New England, and this month marks her one-year anniversary at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Olivia works on the Neuro/Trauma floor, which serving for example, stroke patients, post-operative spine and craniotomy patients. A high percentage of her patients have experienced trauma resulting from motor vehicle accidents.

Olivia notes: “Without the knowledge and experience I gained through the ASN program, as well as the professional network that I created at the school and Lancaster General Hospital, I would not be where I am today. Both PA College and LGH instilled in me highest standards of care, and also nurtured my love of nursing by supporting my learning and growth. This has been a great year for my career; I feel well prepared to succeed in my work and look forward to more opportunities to learn and grow.”

Raised on the coast of Maine, Olivia is part of a big family and close-knit community. She has four sisters, each of whom are her best friends. Olivia loves to spend time with family and friends, and enjoys staying active with exercise and travel. She enjoys living in Boston, a fun city with much to offer and just a short ride home to Maine. Olivia adds: “Although my life is now in Boston there will always be a special place in my heart for Lancaster, because that is where my career in nursing began.”


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!