Danielle Mitchell, '10, Parkland Hospital

Parkland Hospital

Although Danielle Mitchell has not yet started her position as a critical care and trauma nurse intern, she is confident that Calvin has prepared her well for her new career.

"During my time at Calvin, I learned to set priorities and find balance within a busy schedule," the 2010 nursing graduate says. "Four years of varsity swimming while completing a challenging academic program has taught me the importance of time management and setting priorities. These traits are important in any nursing field, especially in critical care nursing."

Danielle knew she wanted to work in critical care, but she was also well aware of the trend that new graduates are rarely hired in that specialty. When she saw a poster at Calvin adverstising a critical care internship program at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, she applied immediately. The program directors contacted Danielle, and two weeks later, she was on her way to Dallas for an interview.

At her interview, Danielle was able to highlight the clinical rotations she completed in the nursing program, as well as her previous summer jobs as a nursing assistant in a hospital and nursing home in her hometown of Iron Mountain, Mich. These experiences helped Danielle realize the importance of gaining hands-on experience in one's chosen career field. She recommends that current students do job shadowing in their selected career field to confirm that the job is something they will enjoy. She also advises, "Use the resources available to you: have a career counselor look over your resume, schedule a practice interview, and get to know your professors."

Danielle is excited about starting work and gaining responsibility in her new role. As an inner-city hospital, Parkland handles a tremendous amount of trauma cases, and Danielle is looking forward to working in an exciting, eye-opening environment.

After working at Parkland for a while, Danielle plans to attend graduate school to become a nurse practitioner or a nurse anesthetist. Eventually, she hopes to work part-time and do some missions work in developing countries.

Written by Meredith Segur, posted June 2010