Kerry Buckingham. Nursing major. Hometown: Baltimore, MD
"I love clinicals because they are so hands-on. it's the best way to learn." Kerry Buckingham

What made you choose nursing and specifically, Towson’s nursing program?

“I chose nursing because I’ve always been interested in the human body and how it works. I’ve always enjoyed taking care of people while trying to figure out what was wrong with them. I like to make people feel better!

"I'm working on my second bachelor's degree. I graduated in 2004 with a B.S. in biology. I had heard good things about Towson's nursing program, and it was just a natural fit. It’s a tough program, but I like to be challenged and I feel like I’ll really be prepared when I graduate.”

Kerry works in the nursing skills labWhat does your weekly schedule look like?

“My first semester I had six classes and a four-hour clinical once a week. Most of my week was spent in Burdick in the computer lab, or in the library doing group studies for tests. This semester I have three classes and two, eight-hour clinicals, one at St. Joseph Medical Center and the other at Franklin Square Hospital. I love the clinicals because they are so hands-on. It’s the best way to learn."

“Last semester I got my certified nursing assistant (CNA) license and now I work at Johns Hopkins Medical Center as a clinical associate 20 hours a week. With work and class I’m pretty booked, but I take time to go to the gym (it’s a great stress reliever!) and I spend time with my husband and cats.”

What do you do on the weekends?

“I usually work Saturday or Sunday, and on my day off, I like to sleep! My husband and I will try to go out to dinner or I’ll catch up with my friends.”

What is the most important thing you’re learning?

"You must be creative in this field. There are so many different situations that a nurse encounters in a day that you have to be ready to improvise. A lot of people get discouraged when they don’t get it right the first time around. But we’re new at this, so of course we’re going to make mistakes.That’s how we learn. With more experience, we will get better at what we do."

What’s the best thing about being in nursing school?

“The friendships. I came into this program not knowing anyone, and a bit older than most people since I’m 25 and most of the students are 20 or 21. But the age difference doesn’t matter at all. You form bonds with your classmates almost instantly. We’re all going through the same classes and stresses. I’ve made strong friendships that I know will carry over after graduation.”

 

What happens at your clinicals/internship?

“During clinicals, we apply what we’ve learned in the classroom. We provide patient care by performing physical assessments, doing bed-baths, changing linens, taking vitals and giving medications. We basically act as a patient’s nurse for the day while being supervised by our clinical instructor. It’s a great experience because we’re putting our classroom skills to use. Our instructors try to get us to function as independently as possible.”

What are your plans after graduation?

“I hope to work full time at Johns Hopkins. I plan to take more classes to earn my master’s degree. I want to become a nurse practitioner to increase my knowledge of medicine. You should never stop learning. Medicine is an ever-changing field and it’s important to keep up-to-date with all of the latest techniques.”

What is your advice for aspiring nursing students?

“If you are thinking about becoming a nursing student, be prepared to work hard! You will make great friends, but you will have very little, if any, free time.”

 

 

 

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