The Nurse’s Journey: Chelsey McClellan Chose SF Before UF

The Nurse’s Journey: Chelsey McClellan Chose SF Before UF

An individual poses for the camera while wearing a blue and orange graduation cap and gown.

February 26, 2024 – “As a lifelong Gator fan,” Chelsey McClellan said, “I always knew I wanted to go to UF [University of Florida], 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.”

From an early age, McClellan knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: a pediatric nurse.

“Nursing is easily one of the most rewarding and best careers you can have,” she said. “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.”

McClellan wanted UF to fit in somewhere along her journey. Yet, she wasn’t sure about the best way to get there.

“I knew nurses and heard hospitals would specify that they loved Santa Fe [College] nursing students because they were so well trained,” she said. “And so, that sealed the deal for me. I knew Santa Fe [College] was where I needed to start this journey.”

Santa Fe College’s (SF) Nursing programs prepare students to embark on careers as registered nurses. Completing the programs can unlock many opportunities, including transferring to UF, which admits more students from Santa Fe College than any of the other 27 Florida state colleges. SF students’ achievements at UF can be credited to the intimate class settings, a rigorous academic atmosphere, and the individualized support offered by faculty and academic advisors.

McClellan eventually transferred to UF, graduated from the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and became a registered nurse at UFHealth Shands.

“For anyone considering a path to UF, do not let circumstances dictate your future,” McClellan stated. “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.”

Learn how you can get into UF: