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Ray Thomas Nursing Student

I am a 2009 graduate of Citizens School of Nursing in New Kensington, PA. Since then I have been employed at the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Choosing the RN to BS program at Penn State New Kensington was an easy decision due to the close commute from my house as well as the small sized classes that were provided in this program. I was also able to transfer some college courses from a degree that I obtained from another university in 2006.


This program has helped me have a better understanding and respect for healthcare as a whole from bedside nursing through advanced nursing practice. I learned the simple differentiation between what makes a manager a leader or just a position.


During my two years at Penn State, I received the Hightower Scholarship, which is directly related to the campus, honoring minority students with academic excellence. In the future, I plan on pursuing my school nurse certification, which I became familiar with and interested in while shadowing a local school nurse for one of my BS course requirements. The Nursing program at New Kensington helped me see how I can expand my professional career since nursing is full of different opportunities and has flexibility. Becoming a school nurse will not only be beneficial because I enjoy working with youth in the school system, but also because the set time schedule will be a positive factor in my personal life as a wife and mother to 3 young sons.