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Julia Shriver, a nursing student at MCPHS, standing in front of a window.

Alumni Spotlight: Julia Shriver, Nursing

  • Making the decision to transfer to a new school can be challenging, but for Julia Shriver, an alumni of our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) accelerated program, transferring to MCPHS was the decision that enabled her to pursue a career in the field she loves. “Ever since I was young, I was fascinated with healthcare. I knew I wanted a job where I could help people as well as get to learn something new every day. Healthcare is such a diverse, ever-changing field that will always require different needs and I knew I wanted to be a part of that,” said Shriver.

    When Shriver began researching schools to transfer to, there were a few factors that were extremely important to her, including the programs offered, transferring credits, clinical opportunities, and location. The three-year accelerated program, combined with the campus location and ease of transferring credits, made MCPHS the perfect fit.

    We recently spoke with Shriver to find out more about her experience transferring to MCPHS, what it was like to attend school in the Longwood Medical Area, and what she is up to today.

    What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone who is considering transferring to MCPHS?

    My biggest piece of advice for someone who is looking to transfer into MCPHS would be to make sure they have a strong idea of the career they’re looking to get into and to not let the idea of having to transfer discourage them. It can be challenging to change schools for numerous reasons, but I think it’s very important to work hard for what you want and if that includes changing schools, go for it!

    Was the transfer experience easy or challenging for you?

    Narrowing down different nursing programs to transfer into was definitely not easy, however, MCPHS made the transition process very smooth. Communication was a key factor in aiding in that easy transition and MCPHS was very helpful throughout the entire transfer process. Expectations were clear and it was easy to navigate through all the steps required to enter as a transfer student.

    What would you tell a student who believes transferring is too difficult or time-consuming?

    I would tell the student to keep persisting. I feel like a large number of college students go to a school expecting that they will complete their full enrollment where they started. When and if the time comes to transfer, it may not always be at the best time or even expected. It is difficult to transition into a new school, but it’s a small sacrifice for a lifetime of happiness in a career you love.

    Which resources did you use to help with the transfer process?

    I did a lot of research online which included comparing different nursing programs, curriculums, costs, and other factors such as location of school, clinical opportunities, and commute. I also had help from a college advisor who specialized in transfer students. She was able to help navigate me through the process and I definitely felt like it took a lot of stress out of trying to make my way through it alone.

    What was it like to attend a university where the entire student population was pursuing a career in healthcare?

    One of my favorite things about MCPHS was the fact that it is a school that is based around healthcare. Being surrounded by the different diverse healthcare majors was inspiring and I felt that it kept me focused. I felt like we were all working towards similar goals which ultimately would be to end up working in a healthcare profession to positively impact healthcare’s future and better people’s lives. Not to mention it’s a privilege to get to attend clinical in some of the best hospitals in the world all within the MCPHS neighborhood.

    How did the MCPHS faculty help facilitate success, both inside and out of the classroom?

    I can’t say enough good things about the faculty at MCPHS. The professors in the nursing program were outstanding. Each professor was committed to helping us learn in our own individual way. There were a variety of different methods used to help students succeed. Professors had office hours, study groups, online question forums, and student run groups to help study and prepare for upcoming exams. The tools and materials the professors used also helped provide different approaches to learning. There was always a way to reinforce the material learned in class, whether it be help from the academic resource center, online simulations, books and other material used for class, peer tutors, or even the use of blackboard to help communicate what was expected. I really felt that MCPHS set us up with all the tools we needed to succeed.

    What were the on-campus facilities like?

    Most of my time was spent in the classroom, nursing lab, computer lab, library, or cafeteria. The nursing SIM lab has all the tools and hands on experiences you need to practice in different clinical scenarios. Everything you need is at MCPHS. Being a commuter, it was nice to pass time using some of these facilities to help me study and make the most of my time on campus.

    What did you enjoy most about attending a university located in Boston?

    Coming from a healthcare driven school, getting to be in Boston practicing at some of the world’s best hospitals was such a surreal experience. Being able to work hands on with patients was not only a privilege but a dream. I was so lucky to be able to do my nursing clinical rotations in Boston and surrounding Boston hospitals. Many of the Boston hospitals are teaching hospitals which provide some of the best learning opportunities. It opened the door to so many different connections and chances to grow in my career as a nurse. MCPHS has so much history and being in a city with equal amount of history was one of the greatest experiences I will always be grateful for. Each day walking by the hospitals in Longwood made me remember why I was in school for nursing and helped encourage me and push me to do my best every day. It was a constant reminder to work hard. Plus, there is always something to do in the area!

    What is the most valuable lesson or piece of information you’ve picked up over the course of your time at MCPHS?

    Being where I am now and looking back at my experience, my biggest piece of advice would be to immerse yourself in as much as you can during your time in school. It’s so important to be well rounded. It’s also SO important to keep up with self-care. Healthcare is not an easy field and the work can seem endless at times so it’s super important to stay focused but to also focus on taking care of yourself during that time. It is all worth it!

    What professional opportunities are you involved in currently?

    I am currently an emergency room nurse and am still getting acclimated in my field and hope to return back to school within the next few years. I am currently deciding whether I want to pursue my nurse practitioner license in psychiatric medicine or become a nurse anesthetist.

    The accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offers an immersive education that prepares students for an exciting career as a registered nurse.