Hunter Perrin grew up seeing the difference his mother made in the lives of her kindergarten students and knew early on he wanted to devote his career to caring for children.
Now the soon-to-be graduate of The University of Toledo is preparing to attend Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he’ll work toward a doctorate of nursing practice in pediatrics.“It’s such a vulnerable population, and every person who enters this profession is going to make a difference in the lives of every patient they touch,” Perrin said.
Perrin came to the UToledo College of Nursing with the idea that he would earn a bachelor of science in nursing, work in pediatrics as a registered nurse, and eventually go on to become certified as a nurse practitioner.
He didn’t anticipate that would happen so quickly — and certainly not at the country’s top-ranked nursing program. But with the encouragement of UToledo faculty and a number of key connections made at nursing conferences across the country, he was able to get into his dream program.
“Every single experience here at The University of Toledo has been great. The one thing I love about this place is that there’s a lot of opportunities if you’re willing to seek them out and put in the effort,” Perrin said. “I’m not sure I would have gotten that anywhere else.”
Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing, praised Perrin’s accomplishments and his dedication to pediatric nursing.
“It’s always inspiring to identify UToledo students who show the passion, skill and drive to make a difference that Hunter has. As a former Hopkins faculty member, I know that being admitted to the D.N.P. program at Johns Hopkins is very competitive and the program is very demanding,” she said. “However, I have no doubt that Hunter will excel there as he did here at UToledo. The nursing profession always needs caring leaders, and I am certain that Hunter will make a positive difference in the lives of many children and families in the future and make us proud.”
Perrin, who also was a student in the Jesup Scott Honors College, completed a capstone project on the psychological development of children after a school shooting. He and two graduate students analyzed research on the role of health-care professionals and looked at legislation and policy that might help guide the response of nurses after a tragedy.
“There are varying levels to what each child experiences after a school shooting, but it’s important to note that every single child will have a reaction, even if they’re not outwardly displaying it,” he said.
Perrin presented the findings at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Master’s Education Conference in Tampa, Fla.
He also traveled to Taiwan in 2018 with other nursing honors students to learn about their health-care system, and is on the board of the UToledo Student Nurses Association.
At Hopkins, Perrin hopes to tackle another societal health-care issue by examining the best care methods for newborns whose mothers have opioid use disorder.
“If there’s a need,” he said, “I’m going to try to go there.”