Third time a charm for York College Nursing student
Powerless. That’s how it can feel when you’re the person sitting in the chair next to a hospital bed. When it’s your loved one in that bed, it’s hard to know what to do or how to advocate for them. Danielle Nusbaum ’07 understands that feeling well.
She remembers what it was like to care for her 92-year-old grandmother, Carolyn, before she passed away. Now, it’s her father’s bed that Danielle sits next to as he undergoes treatment for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer.
Danielle holds on to that understanding—what it feels like to sit in that chair—long after she leaves the room. As a registered nurse working in the critical care unit at Lancaster General Hospital, she’s often on the other side of that same situation for someone else and their family.
It’s because of her understanding she doesn’t get frustrated or annoyed when families ask a lot of questions; she encourages them. And it’s because of her experience caring for her grandmother that she’s finishing up her Master’s degree in the Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Program at York College of Pennsylvania.
Meeting her deadline
Danielle didn’t start out in Gerontology. She didn’t even start out in Nursing. In 2007, she graduated from York College with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication. Things didn’t go quite as she planned after that.
The economy was tanking. She got laid off. She got a new job. She got laid off again. That made up her mind—a change of career was in order.
At 25 years old, Danielle went back to school to earn her Associate degree in Nursing, but she knew she wanted to do more than bedside nursing. So, she gave herself a deadline. By the time she was 35 years old, Danielle wanted to be a certified registered nurse practitioner.
It hasn’t been easy. She goes to school during the week and spends her weekends working at the hospital. She admits she doesn’t have much of a social life, but her hard work is paying off. In August 2020, she’ll officially be a nurse practitioner. And that deadline? “I’ll be 35 next year,” she says. “So, check.”
Making a difference
It was a no-brainer where Danielle would go to earn her master’s. “I just love York College,” she says. “It sounds so dorky, but I do.”
Changing to a focus on primary care has been a completely different experience, but she’s learned a lot. Along the way, she’s had the support of her professors. “I feel like they actually care about my career and me as a person,” she says.
Danielle isn’t sure what she’ll do when she graduates. She might try to gain some more broad experience in the beginning, but her plan is to eventually end up in gerontology. “I like the elderly population,” she says. “I just feel like I can make a difference for them.”
Older generations see life in a different way, she says. She loves just chatting with those people and hearing about their lives. “I really care about them,” she says. “If they’re at the end of their life, I want them to be comfortable. I’ll fight for the things that are important to them.”