Student Spotlight: Nicholas Valenta

Nick Valenta wearing blue shirt with blossoming tree in background

Free time always feels short-lived for Nicholas Valenta.

Between studying for classes for his major in nursing and minor in public health and working two jobs—including in the emergency department at University Hospitals—Valenta serves on the executive board for the Undergraduate Student Nurses Association and the leadership team for the university’s tour guide program, plays mellophone in the Spartan Marching Band, and is working his way through an extensive personal reading list.

The third-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student knew early in life that he needed to be persistent to accomplish his goals and felt he could do anything if he was determined. (Perhaps “stubborn,” he admits, is a more accurate description.)

Formal education does not come easily for him, so Valenta devotes a substantial amount of time to studying. And he doesn’t do it just for good grades.

“I want to be the best clinician I can. I know I am capable of understanding the course content and performing well,” he said. “Even if a concept is difficult to understand, I persist, persevere and use the resources available to me until I understand it completely.”

Enjoying nursing education

Valenta’s interest in a career in nursing sparked during his junior year of high school in Pittsburgh. He knew a 9-to-5 job sitting at a computer was not the right fit, and he enjoyed science and anatomy classes, so he leaned into those interests.

At Case Western Reserve University, Valenta has learned nursing is an in-demand field that offers a multitude of opportunities both in- and outside of a direct patient care setting. Taking the perioperative lab course with Assistant Professor Jill Byrne and learning to appreciate nursing in an operating room environment was his favorite educational experience thus far.

“I chose CWRU because of the interdisciplinary and collaborative environment that exists here. I knew that I would have opportunities to explore topics outside of my major,” Valenta said. “And I was especially drawn to the nursing program because of the school’s reputation, the number of clinical hours in the BSN program and the university’s proximity to several massive medical centers. I know there is so much more to nursing, and I will leave here better equipped to take it all on.”