A New Direction toward Nursing
Katie Kennedy ’19, a health science major, is taking a new direction to a career in health care through a new major, a switch to the NYC Campus, and an opportunity to create a new branch of Future Leaders in Health Care.
From changing her major, to preparing for a move to the NYC Campus for her last two years at Pace, Katie Kennedy ’19 is open to new experiences, which have molded her into the strong leader and student she is today—someone who never settles and keeps hustling.
“Don’t give up and don’t settle,” Kennedy says. “If you have a goal, you will always find your way even if it deviates from your original plan. Everything will be okay.”
Kennedy, who started as a nursing major on the PLV Campus, was drawn to Pace because of its stellar reputation in nursing and its close proximity to her home, while still maintaining a campus feel. After her overnight stay during Orientation, Kennedy knew Pace was the place for her.
“At my overnight, I met a few girls and we clicked really well and I just thought it was a sign,” Kennedy says. “Pace was my second choice school and I actually got into my first choice school, but once I did my overnight, I realized I liked Pace better and it became my first choice.”
After volunteering and working alongside other healthcare professionals during high school, Kennedy says she knew she was destined for a career in the health field. Though she decided to pursue nursing during her first two and a half years at the University, Kennedy wanted a change of pace after realizing her love of the administrative side of health care.
“I switched into health science because I want to work internationally, and I figure having that global health background will be great,” Kennedy says. “I still want to be a nurse, I just am going a different route.”
In her new coursework, Kennedy says she has learned just how vast the health care field is and how many unique opportunities are available.
“I didn’t realize that everything in health care is just so broad,” Kennedy says. “I feel like students tend to automatically think of nursing or pre-medical majors when referring to the health field, but there is so much more. It was interesting to see the different sides of policymaking and health application, and it showed me a different direction of topics that I realized I am very interested in.”
As the Vice President of Future Leaders in Health Care (FLIHC), Kennedy is able to share her experiences in both nursing and health science with students from across a variety of majors, both inside and outside of the health field.
“FLIHC is a club for health care majors, but a lot of our events apply to the entire campus and the world,” Kennedy says. “We are not just targeted toward nursing, and we try to help students get involved and experience as much healthcare knowledge as they can acquire at Pace.”
Though Kennedy says she had two wonderful clinical experiences at Wartburg Rehabilitation Center in geriatrics and at Mount Sinai in psychiatry, she is looking forward to working in the administrative side of health care through her internship this summer with Vital Care Services, an informatics and telehealth company in White Plains.
Kennedy is planning to make a big move to the city next fall to attend Pace’s New York City Campus, where she hopes to start a branch of FLIHC for students there.
“My goal is to network and meet students in biology and health science and see if they would be interested in joining,” she says.
Though she is excited to experience the city life, Kennedy says she will miss the camaraderie of the Pleasantville Campus and her mentors in the Counseling Center who have provided guidance over the past few years.
“I feel like we all have each other’s backs, and everyone that I have met at Pace, I have just loved,” Kennedy says. “Everyone at the Counseling Center has been really been supportive and very, very helpful as well. I see them every week and I just enjoy talking to someone that is not directly involved in my life.”
Once she completes her last two years in NYC, Kennedy says she plans to enroll in an accelerated nursing program and become an international registered nurse because of her passion for travel and interest in helping third world countries with health application, disease prevention, and more.
“My greatest accomplishment personally was finding a new way of my passions,” Kennedy says. “I have found something that I really enjoy and understand that it is okay to not be a nursing student—not every nursing student has the same story and I am excited for my future that awaits.”
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"Take these next four years to change your mind over and over again, learn about yourself, figure out your priorities, and absorb as much knowledge as you can," says graduating senior Jaclyn Griffith. "And please eat plenty of Rosella's Pizza in my honor."
Senior Advice: Jaclyn Griffith