In high school, Paige Riley '23 developed passions for caring for others and the Spanish language and culture, highlighted by her involvement in her school's medical assisting program, and a week-long service trip to the Dominican Republic. At UMass Dartmouth, she's able to combine both interests to unlock twice the opportunities for herself.
"I chose to study nursing because I have always loved helping others, and I wanted a career that was meaningful and rewarding. I love meeting new people and creating connections with my patients. Going home from work knowing that I was able to help someone feel better through the care I provide is so fulfilling, and that feeling is what inspires me. I was also mindful that nursing is a versatile profession; you can work in a variety of different specialties, which opens up many opportunities for nurses. Nurses are also in such high demand right now, so there are many job opportunities available."
Why attend UMassD?
"UMass Dartmouth has an excellent nursing program, a high NCLEX pass rate, and awesome professors that want to help you succeed and achieve your goals. UMassD nursing students receive five semesters of hands-on clinical experience, which was very intriguing as an incoming student."
"I decided to add a minor in Spanish because I wanted to continue my Spanish-learning journey that I began in middle school and also because of my career path. In healthcare, you come across people of all different backgrounds and cultures, and knowing another language as a nurse will help me communicate and connect with Spanish-speaking patients."
How does knowing a second language compliment life as a nurse?
"Knowing a second language demonstrates cultural competence and helps you to communicate and build a trusting relationship with patients who speak another language. Being able to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients will help me to create better nurse-patient relationships and make my patients feel more comfortable having me as their nurse.
"Recently, I had a patient that only spoke Spanish express concerns that I was able to translate for a nurse who doesn't speak Spanish, so we could provide appropriate care. This experience emphasized the importance of knowing another language in the healthcare industry."
Do you feel this creates more opportunities for you?
"Definitely. It is a beneficial asset that will help me in any healthcare setting. Right now, I speak some Spanish to patients in my clinical, and a lot during my job at a local hospital. I am interested in doing a few years of travel nursing, and knowing Spanish will be helpful wherever I go."
Do you think studying a second language is a good idea for any student, regardless of major?
"Studying a second language is a great idea for any student regardless of your major because it can open up all kinds of opportunities, like meeting new people, learning about different cultures, and making friends with people who speak another language. Spanish is an excellent language to learn because it is spoken all over the world in all different settings. Knowing Spanish helps significantly when you travel to other countries where Spanish is spoken, and I learned that when I traveled to the Dominican Republic. Having knowledge of another language is an amazing skill to put on a resume, and helps greatly when applying for jobs."