People of PA College: November 2018 Edition

by Karen Jenkins November 6, 2018

People of PA College: November 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

Natalie Belousov, RN

Bachelor of Science in Nursing ’19

Natalie Belousov ’19 has always had an inclination to help others. Growing up with three brothers, and their array of maladies, from chickenpox to poison ivy, she enjoyed figuring out what was wrong and helping to care for them. During high school, Natalie volunteered at several nursing homes and took science and anatomy courses to help prepare her for the healthcare field. She next completed the Clinical Care Assistant program at the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center and took a job as a nursing assistant; a role which helped her succeed in obtaining her Associate’s degree. Now working as an RN in the same medical-surgical telemetry unit where she started out as an assistant, Natalie notes that the incredible variety of conditions she helps treat each day has helped her stay up to date and continue learning. She adds that this roles has also “really taught me prioritization and great time management skills, which are a must when balancing full-time work and full-time school.”

Currently enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in nursing program, Natalie chose to attend PA College for its high standards and values the many nursing instructors who are so supportive and passionate about what they do. She is especially grateful to Xanthi Kelly, Christie Soper, Lois Walters, Louise McGinty, and Suzanne Mader and shares: “These are some of the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever had the opportunity to learn from. They taught me to think critically the way I do now, and this is something I will take with me wherever I go.”

Natalie was a recipient of Florence Nightingale Award from PA College in May 2018. She also helps her fellow classmates through her role as a peer tutor and describes why she chose to become involved with this program:

“Being a peer tutor is just another way of giving. I like to think of it as helping my future coworkers. I chose to take part in this program because I love teaching and I love nursing, so between work and tutoring I get to be part of both worlds. I might be teaching patients, family members, individual students, small groups of students, or my own family members, but I must say the most satisfying aspect of the experience is seeing the progression. I may start off with someone who is feeling anxious and out of sorts but as I work with them I see them learn to think critically and grow more confident and I get to be a part of that. And if at least one person that I’ve worked with learns one thing that makes the smallest impact in someone else’s life, what I do is worth every minute I spent with that person.”

Natalie hopes to transition to a role in the ICU after earning her Bachelor’s degree to more fully apply everything she’s been learning and researching. A native of the Stevens/Denver area, during those rare times when she’s not working or in school, Natalie enjoys baking chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon buns, playing piano, writing poetry, hiking, spending time with her parents and siblings, or looking up reputable research to advance her practice.


Alumni Spotlight

Connie M. Metzler, MSN, RN ‘87, CDP

Nurse Case Manager and Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s & Memory Care, Lancaster General Health Physicians

Alumna Connie Metzler ’87 cannot trace her love of nursing all the way back to childhood, recalling her dislike for the smell of antiseptic that followed her mother home from the family doctor’s office where she worked. Yet by her high school years, the inspiration to follow in the professional footsteps of her mother Gladys Nissley Metzler (also an alumna from 1962) finally took hold. By this time, Gladys worked in medical surgical nursing and Connie loved the stories her mother shared at the dinner table about her work.

Connie describes her student days at PA College (then the Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing) as the start of a wonderful 30+ year career and an experience that opened the door for her continuing education and professional success. She completed the nursing program in 1987 and recalls many fun times with classmates, living in the dorm, and enjoying milkshakes and cheeseburger subs at the former Mama Mia’s at the corner of James and Lime Streets. But she adds: “Dissecting a cat was my least favorite experience.” Connie later continued her education to earn her BSN from Millersville University and her MSN from Villanova University.

Connie began her career as a Medical Surgical Nurse working the 3-11 pm shift at Lancaster General Hospital before serving as a nursing instructor at PA College for over 22 years. From 1999-2011, Connie also served as interim Director of Nursing at Brandywine School of Nursing. She has held the position Nurse Case Manager and Program Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s & Memory Care of the Lancaster General Health Physicians for the past five years. Of her current role, Connie shares: “I absolutely love being an advocate for patients and families living with dementia. Working with an incredible team consisting of a neurologist, neuropsychologists, a geriatrician, a CRNP and a social worker allows us to work collaboratively to assure that we are providing optimal care to those who enter our office.” During Homecoming this year, PA College honored Connie with the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to her years of service to the health care community and as an educator at the College, Connie is also a past President of the Alumni Association and a Lifetime Alumni member.

After growing up on a 64-acre farm in Lancaster County, Connie now lives in East Petersburg, just 2 miles away from her childhood home. In her free time, Connie continues to help her brother manage and maintain the farm. She also enjoys walks with her husband and friends and was recently a team captain for the Penn Medicine Pacesetters in the Lancaster Walk to End Alzheimer’s Disease. Connie also enjoys taking day trips and bus trips, with jaunts to Cape May, New Jersey and Nashville, Tennessee being recent favorites.


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!