We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Nancy Chahilu ’20
Associate of Science in Nursing program
An otherwise unremarkable drive down Greenfield Road in spring 2017 turned into a transformative event for Nancy Chahilu. Then a resident of Virginia, she was in Lancaster to visit another area school when she passed by our campus. Spontaneously, Nancy decided to pull over and see what PA College might have to offer. She recalled receiving a truly warm welcome from the Admissions staff, and immediately feeling as if she belonged. After enrolling in our Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program that fall, Nancy was so excited to begin her studies that she couldn’t even wait to find the right apartment, and commuted from Alexandria, Virginia for her first three weeks of classes. Now almost two years later, Nancy continues to point to the warm and friendly people she’s met as a highlight of her experience (along with the ability to write on our erasable walls!).
“It was my dream to study nursing ever since I was in primary school,” shares Nancy, adding: “I don’t believe a nurse is taught how to serve; rather, nurses were born with a hunger to serve humanity. I sense an eagerness to serve at PA College and in its students each time I am on campus.” When she finally had the chance to follow her dream, Nancy had been out of the classroom for seven years. Thankfully, she soon felt at ease, as she experienced the dedication and patient help offered by her first-semester instructors and the College’s peer tutors. And later, Nancy developed a strong connection with her classmates, who she calls her ‘tribe,’ during clinical rotations. She explains: “I believe each student needs his/her own ‘tribe’ to succeed – to keep on track and push oneself to work hardest when doubt kicks in. When one receives a low grade and feels the urge to quit because of one below average grade, that’s when her tribe steps in to encourage and lift each other up.”
After spending a difficult childhood moving from foster home to foster home in her native Kenya, never finding an adoptive family, and later being pressured to accept an unwanted marriage, Nancy finally found the opportunity to move to the United States. Being a Nanny was her shot at a better life, and she has loved working in this role for over twenty years.
Today, friends she’s made and the families and children she’s worked with along the way have become her true family. Nancy also notes: “Living in the U.S. is where I learned to have my own voice. As difficult as it was when I arrived as a young girl, it is where I discovered myself and is the only place where I could dream and have continued to see my dreams come true. The U.S. has been my safe haven and I can only continue dreaming big. This is home!”
Believing it is her life’s purpose to care for babies and children, Nancy now aspires to channel this passion into her work as a nurse in Labor & Delivery, or a similar role. She hopes to find a position at Women and Babies Hospital, where she currently works as a part time Patient Care Hostess. In the meantime, Nancy also gets her “baby fix” at her church, by volunteering to watch the kids during one of the Sunday services at LCBC’s Manheim campus.
Currently living in Elizabethtown, Nancy’s hobbies include hiking, meeting new people, attending live concerts and visiting museums. She also has a love of travel. Having lived on three continents to date, Nancy is now exploring the U.S. She’s visited 28 states so far, and looks forward to working on her remaining list after she finishes school. She is also interested in doing medical mission trips to Kenya and South America once a year or so after practicing as a nurse for a few years. While she is currently “married to her books,” Nancy looks forward to one day finding time for dating, marriage and starting a family of her own (plus more traveling!).
Rhonda Mumper, Nursing Diploma ’99, BSN ’18
Staff Nurse, Invasive Cardiology, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Two-time alumna Rhonda Mumper first graduated from the former LGH School of Nursing (now PA College) in 1999, as part of our final diploma program class. Returning recently to further her education, Rhonda excelled in our RN to BSN program. A highlight was earning a 4.0 GPA and receiving our Academic Excellence Award at graduation. Rhonda adds: “Face-to-face classes or blended classes allowed me to personally interact with a diverse group of individuals from various cultures and nursing experiences, while forming lasting friendships.”
Rhonda credits her degrees from PA College for providing her with the opportunity to have a rewarding career in the nursing profession where she is able to make a difference in the lives of others, while caring and supporting them through their health needs. Beginning her nursing career in the Intensive Care Unit at LGH, Rhonda then moved to cardiac telemetry floor for several years. Cardiac bedside nursing has always been her passion, and Rhonda now works in the Invasive Cardiology Pre and Post Holding Area. In this role, she provides patient care to cardiac patients before and after heart catheterizations and electrophysiology procedures. Recently, Rhonda celebrated 20 years working for LGH.
“Looking back over my career so far, I am most proud of the kind, compassionate, and loving care I provide to my patients,” shares Rhonda. “Furthermore, the example I was able to set for my three children by going back to school for my BSN while in my 40’s, so that I could continue my career in the nursing profession, was invaluable. Showing my children that learning is a life-long process and encouraging them that if mommy can excel in academics so can they, is priceless!”
Rhonda lives in Mount Joy, PA with her husband of almost 19 years and three children ages 15, 13, and 10. She enjoy reading, spending time with friends, watching her children’s sporting events, and being actively involved with the Worship team and Youth Group at her church. As a family, the Mumpers love going camping throughout the summer in their new camper, making 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!