“As a lifelong Gator fan, I always knew I wanted to go to UF, but I wasn’t sure that’s where I wanted to start. It just seemed like a big leap from a small town to a big university. I wasn’t confident that UF was the right move for me.
Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a pediatric nurse. I knew nurses and heard hospitals would specify that they loved Santa Fe nursing students because they were so well trained. And so, that sealed the deal for me. I knew Santa Fe was where I needed to start this journey. I moved to Gainesville about ten years ago, hoping I would find the way to get to UF when I was ready.
There were plenty of times when I just wanted to throw in the towel and quit. Family was there along the way to push through and say, “No, you can do it. It’s just a few more years. It’s just one more degree.”
Thanks to SF, I am a registered nurse at UF Health Shands, currently working in the recovery room, taking care of patients post-operatively, and I am a recent graduate of UF’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
Nursing is easily one of the most rewarding and best careers you can have. Being able to take care of people when they are at their lowest point or when they are scared or the family is scared, it breaks your heart, but it makes your heart at the same time.
I worked in the operating room with surgeons, and you get people with all kinds of issues, cancer, burns and then you get these beautiful little babies that have these issues and being able to work alongside the surgeons and fix those issues and helping to make sure that these babies are going to grow up to have a wonderful, healthy life, that is what keeps me going.
For anyone considering a path to UF, do not let circumstances dictate your future. You know, I come from a small town. I am one of five kids where we are all close in age. Our parents did not have a lot of money to send us all to college. I had big dreams and things I wanted to do for myself, and you find ways to reach them. For me, Santa Fe College was the best way to reach my dreams.”
– Chelsey McClellan, DNP Nurse, UF Health