“Nursing wasn’t even on my radar initially. I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was at the University of Minnesota taking animal science classes and wondering how I was going to pay for veterinary school. My younger brother was in the Army at the time and suggested I join the Army Reserves. “It’ll help pay for school,” he said, “and, there’s some nursing program you can do for your training so you can earn money as a nurse while you’re learning to be a veterinarian.” Sounded reasonable. The next thing, I was raising my right hand, reciting my oath to the Constitution of the United States, and heading off for basic training. When I got to the actual nursing training portion, I remember being PETRIFIED on our first day of clinicals. I had never worked with sick humans before, only sick animals. I had no idea what to expect and felt like throwing up as I walked into Madigan Army Medical Center. When I walked out at the end of the day, I had fallen in love. I knew deep in my bones that nursing was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. That was in 1995, and I just kept going after that. LPN to RN program, RN to BSN, then to Penn Nursing for the MSN Adult Acute-Care Nurse Practitioner program.

I’m working at my dream job in the critical care department at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I work with a group of critical care physicians (intensivists) and 2 other acute care nurse practitioners (one who is also an alum of UPenn!), taking care of critically ill patients. I mentor new acute care nurse practitioners, precept acute care nurse practitioner students, as well as sit on 3 committees. Becoming a nurse was the best decision I ever made.”

–Alyssa S. Maizan, CNP, GNu’04, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.