Student Stories

Reflections on the accelerated nursing program, part 2

On February 23, Marian University for St.Vincent Health hosted a panel of students and alumni who took questions from the audience on Marian’s accelerated BSN program. This is our second post in a three-part series sharing highlights from the panel.

To read part one of the series, click here.

Kim Shelly action shot

Jeff Wendling and Kim Shelly

Q. I want to be a nurse, but I’m scared of the time commitment. How did you decide to change careers?

Rachel Tiefel, class of May 2014: I’ve been a stay-at-home mom to five girls the last few years, and I decided that I could be a mom and I could work.

Renata Trager, class of December 2013: You’re not getting any younger. In two years, you’re going to be two years older, no matter what. You might as well do what you want to be doing.

Kim Shelly, class of May 2013: For me, it was now or never. I have two kids who are looking at college, and I wanted to be a role model for them.

Jeff Wendling, class of May 2013: There are hundreds of reasons not to shut off other parts of your life to go back to school. But when it came down to it, I was stuck in a job I didn’t like. I have peace of mind now. I feel reborn, excited about my future.


Julie Smith, site director: Usually there’s enough pain in your first career to realize you’re just not happy. In many careers, if you want to try something new, there’s nowhere else to go. But in nursing, you can always find a new challenge.

Preston Meng, class of August 2011: As a nurse, I can go anywhere and use my degree. There are a lot of open doors for you. Also, when work is done, it’s done. I can finish my shift, go home and play with my kids. In my last job, I would be in the shower thinking about my next sale.

Q. Any advice for nursing students with young children?

Cristina Fontana, class of August 2013: It’s hard with kids; you have to budget your time and almost pretend that you’re actually going to class. I’d post a schedule at home for my husband and kids, and they would know to treat that time like I wasn’t even there. Sometimes I’d go to the library.

Q. Does one semester stand out as more challenging?

Renata: In my first semester, I thought I’d go prematurely gray. I had four or five classes, and my tests were all over the place; now in my second semester, they all have the same test day. That makes it much easier.

Cristina: In the first semester, you get so much basic info all at once to prepare for going into the hospital. If you have a good support system, you can do it.

Jeff: The first semester is kind of lonely because you don’t know anyone. But you form incredible bonds as you go through the program.

Kim: The first semester is about time management, going back to studying and finding your way. You learn very quickly what’s important to you because that’s what gets done. Everything else goes to the side.

Ready to get on the path to nursing? To learn more about Marian’s accelerated nursing program in Indianapolis, contact us today.

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