Wilkes University

Passan School of Nursing Honors Fall 2020 Student Standouts

Each fall and spring semester, Passan School of Nursing students are nominated by the PSON faculty, staff or students.

From these nominations, the PSON Student Affairs Committee selects a student from the accelerated, senior, junior and sophomore classes.

The students chosen personify the core values of an excellent nurse who excels in academics, demonstrates goodwill to others and represents Wilkes University and the Passan School of Nursing in a positive manner.

Matthew Booth | 2021

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Exeter, Pennsylvania

Hobbies: My hobbies include playing video games, hiking, building/keeping aquariums and playing with my four foster kids.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in nursing and what advice do you have for others who are considering attending Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing?

I knew even from a young age that I wanted to work somewhere that I can make a difference in people’s lives, be it researching treatments or providing direct care to patients. Nursing is a perfect fit for me, as I can be at the bedside caring for patients, in a setting where I can apply evidence-based practice and shape the way that we provide care. 

Some advice for prospective students would be to get some nursing aide experience early on. Nurses’ aides are in a position where they can learn what nursing really is and gain experience that will help you both in class and as a nurse after graduation.

Future goals:

After graduating with my BSN and passing boards, I will be working as a psychiatric nurse.

I want to go back to school to earn my master’s degree as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).

I hope to specialize in working with mentally-ill children and adolescents, a patient population that is often misunderstood and underserved.

Some of my long-term goals are to own a private practice, earn my Ph.D. and advocate for nursing education and expand scope of practice for nurse practitioners.

Rebecca Evans | 2021

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Wapwallopen, Pennsylvania

Hobbies:  Playing with my children

Why did you choose nursing?

I chose nursing because I want to help others. When I left the military, there was a void in my life that I didn’t know how to fill. My whole adult life up until that point involved helping others and being on the front lines doing so. My sister-in-law was talking to me about a career in nursing. After talking with Tammy, I decided to give it a try.

I was scared because I was out of school for fifteen years, but I applied to Wilkes University and hoped I would get in. Once I got accepted and I started the nursing classes, I fell in love. I knew I made the right decision. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else but nursing. I look forward to going to work because I know I am going to help others and bring joy to someone’s day. I can’t wait until the day that I am helping people as Becky, BSN, RN.

Future goals:

My future goals include a few things. I plan on working in the ICU locally for two years and then transfer to a larger Trauma 1 center in southern Pennsylvania. Once I have the required five years critical care experience, I plan on applying for a flight nurse position with Life Flight.

I also want to continue my education and one day be known as Becky, ACNP, CCRN, TCRN. Wilkes has helped me realize that the skies are the limit for me and I will continue reaching for the stars.

Mary Silinskie | 2022

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Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Hobbies:  I love watching as well as playing sports, listening to music and spending precious time with my family and friends. I also enjoy traveling and baking. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in nursing and what advice do you have for others who are considering attending Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing?

I chose to pursue a career in nursing because I have always been passionate about caring for others. It is such a rewarding feeling to have a highly respected occupation where you can help others in their time of need. I also enjoy the continuous learning in this profession. Nurses have the opportunity to make positive impacts on patients by promoting health and wellbeing. To sum it up, I cannot imagine myself pursuing any other career.

My advice for others who are considering attending Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing is to go for it! The nursing program here at Wilkes University challenges you to grow not only as a nurse, but also as a person. The friendships that you make in this nursing program will last a lifetime. The faculty and staff will go above and beyond to ensure that their students are obtaining the knowledge and experience they need to succeed.

If you are looking for a nursing program that values their students and brings out their full potential to be a Registered Nurse then Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing is perfect for you.

Future goals:

In the future, I plan to graduate from Wilkes University’s Nursing Program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Spring of 2022. With the education acquired from this nursing program, I am confident that I will pass the NCLEX-RN exam to be a certified Registered Nurse.

My dream job is to be a Labor and Delivery Registered Nurse. I would also enjoy taking on some leadership opportunities such as becoming a preceptor or a charge nurse on the unit. This gives me the opportunity to spread the knowledge I have obtained from Wilkes University to future nurses.  I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing. 

Chase Passman ­| 2023

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Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Hobbies: I am a huge football fan (Saints and LSU Tigers) and love to fish and cook! Hanging with friends is what I do a lot, big time stargazer. I could lay down all day and watch movies.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in nursing and what advice do you have for others who are considering attending Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing?

I have always enjoyed helping others whether it be physically or mentally. I was told I should pursue a career in nursing since I have such an outgoing personality.

My advice to the younger students is to ALWAYS stay on top of your studies because it is hard to come back up when you get behind.

DO NOT be afraid of getting to know your teachers because they want to know who they are teaching.

BIG thing to know is to always ask questions, do not be scared to ask because 10/10 times several others have the same questions.

Future goals: I would like to work at the hospital in the ER or critical care for a few years and maybe travel around doing that as well. Then I want to move onto being a nurse practitioner and specialize in oncology.  

Natalie Echeverry | Accelerated Nursing

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Originally from New Jersey, currently Tamiment, Pennsylvania

Hobbies: Dancing — I used to do choreography for salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia  and hip hop; caring for my three children, my husband and my extended family.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in nursing and what advice do you have for others who are considering attending Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing?

It was always my dream to become a nurse. I worked for physicians for five years and to me, nursing was a more intimate one-on-one type of care.

I postponed my schooling to raise my family but the calling was always knocking. Throughout my life, I embodied what being a nurse means to me; I helped family members that were ill with diseases, gave intravenous medication to my child for four months at home, and held the hand of my best friend/sister of 25 years while she was passing away from peritoneal mesothelioma three years ago.

I was not only a nurse, I was their voice when they didn’t have the strength to fight. The death of my best friend/sister was extremely hard for me. I was asked by her to arrange letters to family members. While she spoke, I wrote, made build-a-bear for her children that she would leave behind recording her voice while crying, and wasn’t allowed to cry until after her death. Why you may ask? In her words, “You are my rock. You give me strength when I want to give up so don’t cry until after I am gone. I gave you these tasks because I know how strong you are even though I know once I am gone you will cry. I will always be with you and thank you for being my nurse, my rock, my sister, best friend and fighter, I Love you always!” Those were her last words to me.  This is an example of how important a nurse is. It’s not just a job, it’s a calling.

Nursing means being there for someone in need when they are at their worst or weakest. It’s not just about medications, charting, or a paycheck. It’s about the compassion of being there for someone when they are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Understanding that we are all human; it doesn’t matter what you do for work, how many likes you received on Instagram, what you wear, who you are friends with or how popular you are. What matters at that moment for a patient is that the person caring for them is giving compassion, strength, support and understanding.

Nurses carry an immense responsibility of providing care for patients, being their voices in a time of need. During this pandemic, we see how hard nurses work not only in hours but emotionally. They are the ones fighting to keep patients safe and healthy. After physicians give their orders, the nurses are the ones that attend to a patient’s every need. They are there every moment with every struggle, every thought, every worry and every breath. Nurses are extraordinarily important in health care. They make a difference one patient at a time.

My advice is if you are looking to become an extraordinary, impactful individual who wants the best for others and are willing to advocate for them, then Wilkes University’s Passan School of Nursing is the place to make that dream come true. This program is accelerated, compacted, demanding, and hands-on; a reflection of what nurses constantly endure on a daily basis.

This program has professors, and clinical instructors that care about the quality of care their students will provide. They produce high-quality nurses because they know the importance and impact they will have on patients. The faculty themselves are nurses in all different fields of health care combining their knowledge, experiences, quality of care and education. This school transforms a regular student into an astonishing nurse. 

Future goals:  My future goals are to work in a hospital before going into an intensive care unit while attaining my master’s degree. After, I am looking to go into a clinical management position on a unit like intensive care, making a difference one patient at a time and being the advocate for my fellow nurses on the unit.