SXU Nursing Alum Flourishes in Multiple Nursing Roles
Saint Xavier University (SXU) alumna Jourdin De Young Garcia '14 has only been working in the nursing field for a few years, but she's already had a wide variety of experience and nursing positions, revealing that for many nursing graduates, options are limitless when it comes to career opportunities.
After graduating from SXU, De Young Garcia immediately began working at Advocate Christ Medical Center as a nurse on one of their telemetry floors, where she had a great learning experience. Within a year, she began working as a travel nurse and had her first assignment in Texas, where she cared for Spanish-speaking, short-stay, medical-surgical and bariatrics patients. After finishing her work in Texas, she moved to Boston and had the opportunity to work at Tuft's Medical Center, notorious for being one of the best cardiac hospitals in the country.
"I learned so much helping at the post-cardiac procedures unit, from organizational skills to multiple charting systems. On our off days, my best friend and I were able to travel the whole east coast. We were able to see places we would have never had the opportunity to travel to if we weren't working as travel nurses," said De Young Garcia.
Eventually, De Young Garcia returned to Texas. During her first assignment, she met her husband, Kevin, and they recently welcomed their first child together. After working with incarcerated patients at a county hospital in Houston, she began working in a post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) with plastic surgery patients. Next, she made the switch to women's health – De Young Garcia's truest passion. She worked in women's surgery until her husband received a job opportunity in Oklahoma last March, and De Young Garcia currently works in a PACU with patients who've had all types of surgeries.
"There are so many different things to enjoy about a career in nursing," said De Young Garcia. "My favorite thing is that you never feel stagnant. You always have an opportunity to continue to move in new positions, keep learning and find the niche you love."
De Young Garcia has earned various certifications over the years, including certifications in advanced cardiovascular life support, neonatal resuscitation, basic life support and pediatric advanced life support. As De Young Garcia continues to learn and grow, she credits her preparedness for her various roles in nursing to her time at SXU, truly believing that her classes laid the foundation necessary to achieve success.
"I could not be more satisfied with how Saint Xavier prepared me for my nursing career. The way the labs and clinical rotations were set up helped me make the transition into my first nursing job with ease," said De Young Garcia.
De Young Garcia incorporates Saint Xavier's mission of service and core values into her work every day. De Young Garcia believes that the core values of respect, compassion, service, integrity and learning for life specifically helped her to understand what goes into being a good nurse.
"SXU's mission of service and compassion is essential to caring for patients every single day. Without these learned values, it would be impossible to give good patient care. I take the core values with me not only into my work, but in my life every day, as I am always striving to learn and be a better person," said De Young Garcia.
De Young Garcia's favorite thing about attending SXU was the nursing community and the support she received from her peers and professors. She attributes the close-knit community to playing a role in her success. Though De Young Garcia worked while she was in school, she often attended campus events and loved to support her friends who played on the basketball and soccer teams. She was also a big fan of her nursing professors.
"Each nursing professor had something special about them. I think they all brought different nursing perspectives and were always knowledgeable about the subject they were teaching. I felt fortunate to be able to go to any of my professors and ask for academic or professional advice. It was very apparent that they loved their jobs and their students," said De Young Garcia.
De Young Garcia encourages current SXU nursing students to learn as much as they can during clinicals. She advises students to ask questions and spend time learning about their patients. De Young Garcia believes that the foundation laid at SXU will help future nurses to continue to grow as humans and health care professionals into their futures.
As De Young Garcia looks to the future, she plans to use her nursing knowledge to learn more about nutrition and how it can affect diseases and the body. She is especially interested in women's health and nutrition and wants to help other women learn more about themselves and their bodies. She hopes to put the knowledge she gains about the subject into a book and use social media platforms to teach and inspire others.