June 2, 2016, Blue Bell, Pa.—There are as many unlikely paths as there are extraordinary students, and extraordinary nursing graduate Ashley Reinoso took one of those paths.
Armed with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC), Reinoso, 27, of Lansdale, started working in a hospital emergency department (ED) straight out of school.
She had laid the foundations for that path well ahead of time.
“Being able to start in an emergency room right out of school was a huge accomplishment and a chance my hospital offered me,” said Reinoso, who graduated from MCCC in December 2015.
“My hospital had never allowed a new graduate to work directly in the ED from school. But I had worked there for a few years before as a critical care technician, so given my experience in the ED setting and my work ethic, they allowed me to enter as a graduate nurse and shape an orientation program for new nurses,” she explained. “This opportunity has been an amazing experience, which has taken my love for nursing and compassion for people to a whole new level.”
Reinoso is no stranger to stresses like those that go along with the organized chaos of a hospital ED.
“I was able to continue to focus on school and maintain my grade point average through a divorce, raising my child as a single mom, and working to support myself and child. Not everyone has struggles like mine, but I feel as though I was blessed with my circumstances and made the best of them. In the end, it was all worth the struggle. I am able to set an example for my child as he grows,” she said. “Finding time to study and balance my home life, work life, and school life wasn’t easy, but with faith and support from my family and friends I made it happen.”
With a schedule loaded with real-life obligations, Reinoso still found time to participate in the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society, serving as vice president for three semesters, and in the Student Nurses Club.
“My most memorable experiences were with PTK and the community service projects we did, especially the river cleanups at West Campus and the National Convention I attended for PTK,” she said.
Reinoso is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing as a dual enrollment student with the Ohio State University Online BSN degree program and is likely to remain on the path she has chosen.
“I love working in the ED as stressful and crazy as it can get at times, but I would not change it for anything,” she said.”
- Neree Aron-Sando