Determination, Support Keys to Success for Spring 2014 Nursing Grad
Erica Rossignol was told she probably wouldn’t be accepted to a baccalaureate nursing program. Withdraws ("W’s”) on her transcript from a previous shot at a business degree were weighing like "F’s” on her GPA.
Instead of giving up, she thought it through and decided to take all the classes required for entry into both the associate’s and bachelor’s pathways.
In 2011, following two years of coursework in preparation, Rossignol was accepted into the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing’s BSN program at UC East in Clermont County, and just last month, was invited to be part of the Sigma Theta Tau international nursing honor society.
On April 26, she’ll graduate with her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
"Five years ago, graduating seemed so far out of reach that I was not sure I would ever make it to this point,” Rossignol says. "It is surreal that it is finally happening.”
It was a part-time job as a nursing home housekeeper during her high school years that prompted Rossignol’s interest in nursing.
"I don’t really remember the housekeeping part of it,” she says, recalling the relationships she built with residents and the visits she made with them on off days. "But I had made a commitment to a cosmetology program and I needed to see that through.”
So, Rossignol told herself she’d reconsider nursing when the time was right.
In 2003 she married her husband, Brad, and they settled in to Louisiana where he was stationed with the United States Air Force. A year later, they were transferred to England where they spent another four years and had their first son, Ethan.
"We both took classes overseas, but it was hard to commit to a degree,” Rossignol says.
In 2008, the couple and their son returned to Cincinnati—home for Rossignol—and both geared up for going to college that following spring.
"We did it all backwards,” Rossignol says, noting that her husband began in UC’s engineering program the same semester she started taking classes.
Rossignol welcomed babies two and three, all while working, taking classes full time and participating in clinical rotations. She’s currently part of the nursing co-op program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where she cares for patients in the medical intensive care unit.
That experience, she says, leaves her with a desire to make a career in critical care nursing. She hopes to eventually return to school for an acute care nurse practitioner master’s.
Keys to Success
Rossignol benefited from a number of scholarships, which she says were a huge help.
"With both of us in school, we ended up spending so much money on books. The scholarships really helped to lessen the financial burden of that expense.”
One particular award, the Laura E. Rosnagle Academic Merit Scholarship, established in 1994 in honor of alumna and former dean Laura Rosnagle, was very significant to Rossignol, one of only four UC College of Nursing students to receive it in 2013. The award recognizes full-time undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellent academic achievement, outstanding leadership and significant service to the campus and/or community.
But perhaps most important to Rossignol has been her amazing support system—many of whom will be on hand when she gets her diploma April 26. They’ve helped her to achieve her first academic goal.
"No matter what, you can do what you want to do if you find the proper support,” she says. "You can make anything happen.”