Why I Chose the Graduate Entry Nursing Program

Photo of CWRU FPB graduate Armando Gutierrez, his wife, and two small children.

The Chance to Be Helpful, Not Helpless

We stepped out of the Humvee into the desert air of Nevada. His words were never more applicable. At that moment the commander walked up and tasked me to run the four bed trauma center on our mobile base of operations. As the casualties arrived, I directed the trauma bed triage, performed assessments and presented the patients to the providers. Our team of nurses, doctors, medics, and technical support staff, all worked as a unit in our own choreographed dance of assessment, patient history, physical examination and plan prescribed. It was the dance I wanted to be a part of. I felt helpful, not helpless.

Name: Armando Gutierrez
Hometown: I am originally from Manila Philippines and moved to Plainview Texas when I was six -- That is my hometown.
Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees: I went to school at the University of Southern California and graduated with an undergraduate degree in Theater and then received my graduate degree from UCLA in Theater.  
Former career path: Executive director of commercial and special events.

  1. I decided to change career paths because...
    My colleagues and I started a commercial and special events company where I worked as the executive director of the staff. However, when the recession in 2009 hit our industry, our company closed. 
  2. I decided to become a nurse because... 
    I started to volunteer at an assisted living facility and really enjoyed my residents and my ability to help them out even though it wasn't in the medical or nursing capacity. I knew after that point that I wanted to serve others and help those in need, specifically in the medical or nursing environment.  During this time, I found out there was a need for medics and medical personnel in the US Army. My continuing need to serve extended to serving my country, as an Army Combat Medic. The military opened up the many doors in the medical field that were not open to be in the civilian world. I was offered the GI bill, experience in emergency situations, hospital inpatient rotations, and pre-hospital field environments. This experience was eye opening to me. I met my mentor and friend during this time.  
  3. I chose FPB because...
    I came to FPB and Case Western Reserve a year after completing my military service because of the amazing opportunities at three of the most forward thinking teaching hospital systems in the nation. Along with the VA almost right across the street -- and the 3rd largest in the nation -- I believe Case Western Reserve and the School of Nursing are well positioned to lead nursing innovation and practice into the future.  
  4. The best thing about an FPB education is...
    The best thing are the amazing amounts of experience in our clinical rotations. We are given two to three times as many clinical hours than the baseline standard that the national as well as the Ohio board mandates for nursing schools. The experiences have, and will, inform us further as we move into our Nurse Practitioner education here at FPB. Because the MN program is a grad entry program we are admitted and prepared for the MSN program here at Case Western Reserve -- allowing us to focus on our studies and not on applying at another program.

Headshot of Natalie Kukucka smiling.

The Holistic Approach to Patient Care

Name: Natalie Kukucka, CNM
Hometown: Ebensburg, PA
Current job title and Employer: Certified Nurse Midwife at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, PA
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelors of Science in Biology and minor in Theatre
Nursing degree: Masters in Nursing (MN) and MSN from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing

  1. I decided to change career paths because...
    I shadowed on the L&D I now work on. I had originally wanted to be an OB/GYN. However, after seeing the differences between the midwives and OB/GYNs, I felt like the philosophies of nursing and midwifery were a better fit for me.
  2. I decided to become a nurse because...
    I appreciate the holistic approach to patient care. I believe in a patient’s right to autonomous decision making in their care. As a nurse and a certified nurse midwife, I have the opportunity to be an advocate for my patients and their desires for what is best for them and their growing families.
  3. I chose FPB because...
    I felt supported during my time as a student. I had the patient, kind, caring, and knowledgeable clinical instructors and teachers. As an alumnae, I continue to have the support from my instructors as I transition from RN to CNM with questions about challenges in my new role.
  4. The best thing about an FPB education is...
    the continued care and support you will receive from your teachers and new friends you will make during your education. Additionally, I knew that I would be well-prepared for all of the challenges I would face as an RN and CNM with the high-quality education I received supplemented with the best technology, evidence based practice, and superb clinical sites.
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