We’re proud of the ambitions and accomplishments of our students and alumni – learn some of their stories in our monthly feature:
Alumni – Faculty Spotlight
Stacey Bennett ’04, MSN, FNP-C, RN, BSW
Nursing Instructor, PA College of Health Sciences
“I loved my time as a student at PA College!” shared Stacey Bennett. Pursuing nursing as a second career, she felt wonderfully prepared to care for patients after earning her diploma in 2004. “The standard of excellence instilled in me by my professors, including President Mary Grace Simcox, laid the foundation for my nursing career.” After graduation, Stacey worked as a bedside RN while continuing to further her nursing education, including acquiring a Family Nurse Practitioner certification. “I am most proud of having the honor to provide care for those in need. As a nurse, I have been granted the opportunity to hold the hands of the dying, to cradle sick children and to soothe the fears of hundreds of patients and their families. For this, I will always be grateful,” Stacey explains.
Realizing a long-held dream to contribute to the education of the next generation of nurses, Stacey returned to PA College as a nursing instructor, beginning with this fall semester. She is currently teaching mental health content and clinicals for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing degree programs. She notes: “I absolutely love being a nurse and am so thankful to be part of the wonderful faculty here at the College.” Stacey is looking forward to her first professional presentation next month, The Quantitative Value of MBSR: Where Do We Stand?, at the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners conference in Pittsburgh.
Nearly 20 years after beginning her nursing career at PA College, Stacey plans to become our student once again – beginning her studies in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program in May 2022. Upon earning her terminal degree, Stacey plans to continue her career in nursing education, while maintaining her nurse practitioner certification. Also interested in a future administrative leadership role, Stacey notes: “In this position, I would advocate for growth and success through hard work and by creating an environment conducive for all to be able to reach their highest potential.”
Stacey lives in Lancaster with her husband Scott, and their children, Tyler, Emma and Delainey. “Fur-baby” Reggie is also part of the family, with another (Rosie), due to join the fold this fall. In her spare time, Stacey enjoys adventuring with her family, meditating, reading, exercising and cooking.
Julie Bolton ’97 ’20, RN, BSN
Manager, Outpatient Infusion Services, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute
More than twenty years after earning her nursing diploma from the then-Lancaster General Hospital School of Nursing (now PA College), Julie Bolton admits that she returned to the classroom to earn her Bachelor’s degree somewhat begrudgingly. Skeptically that this program could benefit her after decades as a nurse, Julie shares that a short while into her studies, she really began to enjoy what she was learning: “I was able to take information from my classes and incorporate it into my daily practice as a nurse. Having peers who were going through the program with me was helpful and gave me support. The College also has some great instructors who were extremely helpful in navigating the courses.” Julie also notes that her BSN Capstone instructor, Dr. Dee Minchhoff, also taught her during her initial nursing studies, bringing her PA College experience full circle.
Julie has spent her entire 23-year nursing career in the field of oncology. After beginning her nursing career in 1998 on 3-West, the former oncology unit at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, Julie later joined the Hematology/Oncology medical group and transitioned to outpatient care. Today, she is Manager of Outpatient Infusion Services for the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, overseeing the administration of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, blood products and supportive medications to patients in an outpatient setting. “I am proud of the infusion team that I work alongside at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. They are the best group of peers I have ever had!” Julie shares.
Julie credits her PA College education with helping her fulfill her current management role, noting of her bachelor’s degree studies: “I have gained a breadth of knowledge, experience, and understanding of the nursing career that I did not have previously. Completing my degree while working full-time and helping to care for my aging parents and growing children helped to build my character and resilience.” Julie is proud of her ability to return to school after two decades in the field, making both the Dean’s List and President’s List at PA College, during a time when other life responsibilities made her feel stretched rather thin.
In her free time, Julie enjoys shooting pool and plays for a professional pool league twice a week when her schedule allows. She has two college-aged children and enjoyed the experience of taking classes at the same time as her daughter.
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!