Ryan Carey '15 discovered his passion for nursing after his sister was diagnosed with cancer. The Somerset resident has participated in several service-learning trips with the College of Nursing.
Following graduation, he'll be working on the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Rhode Island Hospital, caring for patients who have undergone open-heart surgeries.
Why did you decide to major in nursing?
I’d been playing online poker professionally for about 5 years when legislation was passed making online poker illegal. I was faced with the decision to move out of the country to continue what I was doing, or find a new career path.
A month later, my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but it was unsuccessful. Her recovery wasn’t a pleasant one, but the nurses on the oncology floor at Women and Infants Hospital really brightened her up and made a huge difference. They went above and beyond.
The direct impact these nurses had on my sister and family sparked my interest in nursing, and I began taking classes at UMass Dartmouth that September.
What has been your experience with faculty members in the College of Nursing?
Any time someone asks me about the College of Nursing, I talk about the outstanding faculty. I’ve made real connections with many of my professors, and I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve had the opportunity to join some of them on service-learning trips to Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Glendora, Mississippi.
Tell us about your service in Haiti.
I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti as part of my Community/Public Health Nursing clinical experience junior year. It was a life-changing experience, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to return as a senior.
While in Haiti, students collaborate with translators, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians in order to provide medical care to this under-served population. The poverty and lack of access to simple healthcare was astounding and really put things into perspective for me.
What are your plans following graduation?
Following graduation, I'll be working on the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit at Rhode Island Hospital, caring for patients who have undergone open-heart surgeries.