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Switching to a Nursing Career During the Pandemic  

Many people have looked into switching careers during the pandemic, whether it was because of a job loss, the economic downturn or a desire to pursue something new and different. A lack of experience in the desired field, however, often detracts people from pursuing that new path. Seton Hall's Pre-licensure Master’s Program: Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program is intended for students with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing major. This intensive two-year program leads to a Master of Science in Nursing and is the ideal way to begin a nursing career.

Two current College of Nursing CNL students shared their story about pursuing a career in nursing and coming to school during a pandemic.

Devyn Somogyi

Devyn Somogyi joined Seton Hall’s CNL Program after graduating this past May from Penn State with a B.S. in Health Policy and Administration.

While the coronavirus pandemic disrupted many plans, Devyn Somogyi felt as though it has solidified hers. After graduating this past May from Penn State with a B.S. in Health Policy and Administration, Devyn was unsure of her next steps. She could not ignore the pandemic affecting the world around her, however. 

"Despite feelings of worry and uncertainty, I was inspired by the courage, dedication and camaraderie of healthcare providers," she said. "Throughout the COVID pandemic, my passion for health care strengthened into an unwavering desire to help others, advocate for patients and improve the quality of care. I realized that these were a special breed of people – those who run towards pandemics – and I was determined to be one of them."

As a result, Devyn applied to Seton Hall's CNL Program. "Following my acceptance, I enrolled immediately, enthusiastic to pursue a path that I felt a true calling to, especially in the wake of a global health crisis." And, after only a few weeks at Seton Hall, Devyn said that she knows she "made the best decision in choosing to pursue nursing. I am eager to see where my education takes me and to begin my career as a nurse!" 

Headshot of Stacey Orlando

Stacey Orlando left her teaching position to pursue a master's degree in nursing at Seton Hall.

Stacey Orlando had always envisioned herself as a nurse but did not believe she was "cut out for the job." She had earned a B.A. in special and elementary education, but after three years teaching children with disabilities, she began to feel that she wanted to pursue a different career. "Although I enjoyed teaching and admire the tenacity of all educators, I could not deny that I was craving a fast-paced work environment where I could learn kinesthetically and save lives," said Stacey.

Last year, Stacey left her teaching position to enroll in nursing prerequisite courses (which are necessary for enrollment in the CNL program) as well as work as a caregiver for adults with disabilities. Amid her career and educational transition, the COVID-19 pandemic appeared. "My prerequisites classes came to a screeching halt and I was afraid that my plans of becoming a nurse would not prevail due to the societal and financial strain the pandemic had placed upon us as individuals and as a society," she said.

However, Stacey would not let the pandemic stop her from achieving her lifelong dream. "When the pandemic hit, it reinforced my desire to become a nurse as I work best when I have opportunities to think critically and learn new, hands-on skills," she said. "I came to Seton Hall University to earn my second degree and train for my dream career as a nurse."

She added, "I am confident that my instructors will prepare me with the current knowledge needed to intervene during a pandemic so that I become a strong and responsive nurse. I am honored to participate in Seton Hall's CNL Program and look forward to contributing to the health of our nation." 

To learn more about Seton Hall's CNL Program, inquire here.

Categories: Health and Medicine

For more information, please contact:

  • Lorraine Joyce
  • (973) 378-2674