People of PA College: December 2017 Edition

by Karen Jenkins December 5, 2017

People of PA College: December 2017 Edition

Each month, we share the stories of the People of PA College who make the college a great place to learn, work and grow. Here are December’s stories!

Student Spotlight

Istvan Szoke ’18

Associate of Science in Nursing

After losing his job in construction at age forty-one, and not seeing a meaningful future working in this field, Istvan Szoke decided to make a major career change and enrolled in an local LPN program. Following a recommendation from his instructors, he then completed PA College’s LPN to RN bridge program this past summer. Istvan is now in his third semester of nursing classes and is excited about his future. He shares: “I appreciate the ability to take blended learning classes that combine online media with traditional classroom methods and also regular online courses that help me manage my commitments and work schedule.”

Istvan is the proud recipient of a 2017-18 Alumni Association Scholarship and adds: “This scholarship means a great deal to me. I am a father of three small children trying to support our family with a part time job, working on the IV team at LG Health. Working and being a full time student, and balancing life is a hard thing to do at times. I am also a first generation immigrant from Hungary and the first in my family to go to college. As English is not my native language, it is quite a challenge and a lot of hard work to keep my good grades, but I am determined to persevere for the future and well-being of my family.”

After earning his ASN, Istvan hopes to continue his education and earn his Bachelor’s degree. In spite of the hard work and sacrifices required to reach his goals, Istvan remembers what motivated his decision to pursue a career in nursing: “I wanted to get up in the morning, go to work and feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives. It is more than just earning a paycheck, it is impacting our fellow human beings. It is a calling, not just a job.”

Alumni Spotlight

Julie Umberger, RN ’80, BSN, MSN, DNP

Family Nurse Practitioner

Alumna Julie Umberger points to the excellent coursework and instructors she had at PA College (then the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing) as the highlight of her student years here. She also shares that it was her great hands-on clinical opportunities which enabled her to immediately begin work in the coronary care unit (CCU) after earning her RN in our diploma program in 1980. Julie adds: “The excellent education I received has always given me a great foundation for every position I have had, and the high expectations of the instructors and the program have carried with me throughout my career.”

Julie’s career in nursing began at Lancaster General Hospital, where she worked for about 6 years in the CCU/ICU and in the Cardiac Surgical unit while earning her BSN from Millersville University. She worked for several years in outpatient cardiology and then after moving to Florida, transitioned into a cardiac research position at the University of South Florida. Julie received her MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner focus from that school in 1994. She has been a partner/provider in a family practice office in Tampa for the past 15 years and also precepts nurse practitioner students from the surrounding universities. Julie recently graduated from the University of South Alabama with a DNP and will soon complete a nursing education subspecialty certificate program.

Looking back over her career, Julie is most proud of her choice to be a life-long learner; continuing her education and earning several graduate degrees in her field. Julie resides in Tampa and has two grown children. In her spare time, she enjoys remodeling her house and doing crafting activities.


Seeking “People of PA College”

Current students, alumni, faculty & staff – we want to tell your stories. Do you know an exception student, alumnus or faculty/staff member 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!