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Nursing

Payal Patel '13

Baroda, India

"I've gained hands-on experience in the labs, working with the mannequins and my fellow students. And I've learned how to adapt health care based on the patient's beliefs and culture."

How to succeed

"My friends ask me about St. Ambrose, and I tell them it's a great school. All of my instructors have so much knowledge and they like to spend time with each student."

After Payal earned her bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery and additional certification as a lab technician, she worked for eight months as an assistant doctor at a gynecological hospital in India.  

She moved to Davenport to be with her husband and earn her degree in nursing at St. Ambrose. When she's not in class or labs, Payal works at Manor Care as a certified nurse assistant and cares for senior citizens.

"My work is very fulfilling. I even received recognition because the residents told human resources how much they liked me."

Payal plans to stay in Davenport to raise her family and become an obstetrics nurse. "My daughter is only one year old, but I would already like for her to be a doctor one day, so I can be her nurse."

In her own words

Why St. Ambrose?

St. Ambrose has an excellent nursing program. Originally, I wanted to go to medical school. But medical school is a long road–eight years of schooling. I saw nursing as a good alternative and Ambrose felt like the right fit.

All of the faculty members are so willing to take time to help me in any way that they can. And with small class sizes, there's more attention to give to each of us.

You had a medical background already, so what have you learned at St. Ambrose?

I've learned more practical knowledge, like the theory, signs and symptoms of diseases. In my labs, we get hands-on experience. We work with the mannequins and give injections. We also practice with one another. One student is the nurse and one is the patient. We provide each other feedback.

What's it like being a non-traditional student at St. Ambrose?

Everyone has helped me get integrated into the American culture. We go to the coffeehouse. We visit each other's homes. Sometimes I cook them Indian food, like rice and daal. I love to cook!

What kind of career support do you receive from St. Ambrose?

One of my advisors helped me write an essay for a scholarship. I've also learned how to fill out application forms and write a resume, which is something I had not done in India.

What will you miss about St. Ambrose when you graduate?

I'll miss the closeness and friendships. After graduation, we'll have different career paths. But I want to continue my friendships with them.