Nursing program sets new mom up for successful medical career
Brittany Mosley remembers walking across the graduation stage at York College of Pennsylvania, taking those milestone steps toward a career dedicated to helping others.
Looking back 10 years later, she wasn’t sure she’d ever even get a Nursing degree.
“I honestly don’t know how I did it,” she says. “It had to be pure determination to not be another teen mom statistic.”
‘A parent and student’
Brittany found out she was pregnant during her senior year of high school. At the time, she had planned to attend another college to pursue a Physician’s Assistant degree.
She considered putting her education and career goals aside to focus on being a mother.
York College’s Stabler Department of Nursing gave her the opportunity to do both.
“I chose YCP because we lived right down the street from the school, and I knew that I had to go to school to take care of my daughter,” she says. “Going to a local school allowed me to be a parent and student at the same time.”
Even with the help of family, balancing a full-time class schedule, work, and raising a daughter presented everyday challenges for Brittany.
Overcoming adversity, though, was part of what led her to the medical field in the first place.
Since she was little, Brittany has struggled with a severe case of asthma.
As a young girl, she confronted frequent hospital visits and doctor’s appointments. She couldn’t participate in sports. Sleepovers meant staying on the couch instead of the floor, where allergens in carpets provoked a potential asthma attack.
“I was very sick growing up,” she says, “and wanted to help people like the medical staff helped me.”
Piquing her interest
After graduating from York College in 2008, Brittany worked in the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Harrisburg Hospital, then moved to Arizona and worked in hospice care.
Upon a desire to head back East, she took a job in the infusion clinic at Duke University, where she’d occasionally treat patients receiving investigational infusions as part of a clinical trial.
“The patients that were on the final phase of their trial were receiving the actual investigation medication and were actually seeing results,” she says. “I thought, ‘That’s pretty amazing!’ This really piqued my interest in the research field, something that I never thought I would be interested in.”
An integral operation
Eventually, Brittany applied for a job at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, and, to her surprise, landed it.
Today, she’s a Senior Clinical Research Nurse at the NIEHS. Her job involves managing the clinic staff, conducting visits for research participants, and collecting vital signs, specimen, and discharge.
The role fills an integral NIEHS operation of obtaining informed research participant consent, answering any questions, and affirming the participant’s knowledge of and contribution to the research study.
Her work fulfills the larger NIH mission to understand how environmental factors affect health and diseases.
“The amazingly great thing about nursing is that there are so many avenues you are able to experience,” she says. “You can do so many different things.”
When considering her time at York College, Brittany credits the Nursing program for teaching her hard work, patience, and critical thinking.
Small class sizes allowed her to form bonds with professors, and hands-on practice prepared her for the future. She completed clinicals at nearby York Hospital and a practicum at Memorial Hospital.
“I know this sounds cliché, but I value it all,” she says. “It was such a wonderful experience.”
And while her path was challenging, she made it through, she says. Her child is a teenager now and participating in a college preparation program for emergency medical services.
She hopes her daughter receives a similarly satisfying education.
“It made me a better person,” she says. “I am forever grateful for my YCP experience.”