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Matt Seibert, class of 2024, eyes a new nursing career 

The VCU School of Nursing supports students of all walks of life, including those making a career switch like Matt Seibert, class of 2024. Having served as a volunteer emergency medical provider since 1994, Seibert decided the right fit for his skillset and career goals was a nursing program. “As my children themselves grew up and left home, I found myself wanting more from my career,” he said.

Though he teases he is still not sure what he wants to do when he “grows up,” it is obvious from talking to Seibert that he is thriving in the fast-paced environment of nursing school, balancing the intensity of clinical hours with the rewards of the classroom and new connections with fellow students. “Challenging, juggling, laughing, reading, testing, learning, and succeeding; or as other people would say, Monday,” he says about his experience so far. 

Two courses–NURS202 Technologies of Nursing Practice and NURS261 Health Assessment for Nursing Practice–are early requirements in the program and introduce undergraduate students to the basics of nursing practice. “The first gave me the opportunity to really understand nursing as a career, and gave me a deeper appreciation of the choice I had made for my education,” Seibert says. “The second helped me better refine the assessment and documentation skills I’ve had as an EMT for over three decades in a much more detailed, and understandably necessary, manner.” 

Gaining my RN licensure will give me the necessary base to then go anywhere I want to, constantly learn new things, and change when my interests, talents, skills or physical ability dictates or calls.

Matt Seibert, class of 2024

Nursing students have a lot of direct contact with professors and preceptors and as a result, almost endless opportunities for feedback and mentoring. Seibert has taken full advantage of those relationships to advance his learning. “Matt is a deep thinker and is eager to assist his fellow students to understand nursing concepts, patient pathophysiologies, and treatments. He takes his studies seriously and is a model for his fellow students to follow,” says James Tormey, Ph.D., RN, MSN, CEN, Clinical  Assistant Professor in the Department of Adult Health and Nursing System. Under the supervision of faculty members like Dr. Tormey, students develop key clinical skills while learning time management in a supportive yet real-world setting. Beyond learning, it is confidence-building–key for new graduates who need to be practice-ready. “Matt is an excellent student who uses his experience and intellect to solve complex nursing issues,” Tormey said.

The School of Nursing takes supporting students seriously. In addition to a well-built curriculum and outstanding faculty and clinical experiences, the school invests in resources beyond the classroom that help students flourish. “The school supports adult students by providing clear syllabi and expectations for school performance and avenues to assist students with managing school and living responsibilities,” says Tormey. “We also employ faculty whose role is to work as student success coaches to provide strategies for both course and class success.” After all, nursing professors know what it takes to be an excellent nurse–Tormey himself has 27 years of clinical experience.

Strong relationships with faculty like Dr. Tormey, a well-designed curriculum, and a support system always there answering questions or extra help are the components that attract so many to the top-ranked program. Seibert knows his experience at VCU School of Nursing is preparing him for the career he envisions. “Gaining my RN licensure will give me the necessary base to then go anywhere I want to, constantly learn new things, and change when my interests, talents, skills or physical ability dictates or calls.” 

by Moira Neve

Categories News, Students
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