2020 Nursing Page Update

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York College remains destination for Nurse Practitioner student

Danielle Nusbaum

Soon after graduating from York College of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Communications degree, Danielle Nusbaum decided to shift gears. The state of the economy along with a lingering desire to help people led her back to school to pursue a career in nursing. 

“I knew nursing would give me multiple career choices depending on what I wanted to do,” Danielle says. “I knew it would be in demand, and I love to work with people and wanted to help the geriatric population.”

After earning her associate degree at Lancaster General College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Danielle elected to return to York College in Fall 2013 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

She decided to continue her nursing education because she wanted to pursue a career in critical care and give herself a broader experience of caring for people. 

During this time, she worked at Lancaster Rehabilitation Hospital as a charge nurse. She oversaw a 59-bed hospital and worked in a specialized 11-bed brain injury unit. Her tasks included coordinating with physicians, delegating tasks, scheduling patient care and several other tasks working with other nurses on the floor.

Nurse practitioner program

In Fall 2017, Danielle went back to York College, this time in search of a degree as a Nurse Practitioner.

She says the most significant aspect for NPs vs. a nurse is the amount of time spent with a patient. 

“You see patients for more than a couple days as a NP,” she says. “You can be their primary care provider for a length of time, get to know them, help them navigate the healthcare system and help them with their quality of life.”

Along with her desire to help the geriatric population, this opens the possibility of shifting to a career in a nursing home.

Still, at the beginnings of the NP program, Danielle’s current focus in the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner graduate program is on research. 

She’s currently investigating pain in cognitively impaired patients, which she says is difficult to assess and can have a significant impact on the patients’ quality of life.

“This is something that we deal with frequently in hospitals,” she says. “It’s a struggle to treat these patients effectively.”

Other areas of YCP’s program include clinical courses, assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology and more.

Also, in Fall 2017, Danielle began a job at Lancaster General Hospital’s intensive care unit. She cares for up to three critically ill patients at a time, including those on ventilators or going through opioid withdrawal — and her YCP education has helped her with this experience.

Since earning her bachelor’s degree, Danielle says she has noticed a difference in her preparedness, maturity and ability to perform her new job.

The benefits of York College

One of Danielle’s favorite aspects of the NP program at York College is that the classes are all in person rather than online.

Along with having only about 12 other students in her NP classes, she appreciates the opportunity to get individualized attention from professors.

In addition, she says the program carries a great reputation for producing excellent nurses. 

“YCP prepares you for what is needed in the nursing field to care for an aging and diverse population in a healthcare industry that is always changing,” she says.

Now working on her third degree at York College, Danielle says she keeps coming because it feels like home.

“It sounds cliché,” she says, “but it really feels like I belong there.”