Tessa Vogel is eager as ever to begin her work in nursing even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put an immense strain on hospitals, leading to high levels of burnout and staffing shortages in many parts of the country.
“I think it’s so important for us as new graduates to have that fire and be ready to go,” she said. “I don’t have any hesitancy. I’m ready to get started in the professional career.”
Vogel finished her second year at The University of Toledo in the spring of 2020 as the virus was rapidly beginning to spread in the United States.
Rather than taking the summer off, she immediately began the professional portion of the UToledo Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.
“A lot of nurses and instructors were encouraging us to keep going and telling us how much they needed us right now,” she said. “If I could accelerate the process, I wanted to go ahead and do that.”
Vogel, who also was in the UToledo Honors Program, will graduate on Dec. 18 — a semester earlier than she would have had she taken that summer off.
The central Ohio native has already accepted a job at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the neonatal intensive care unit pending her licensure.
“Tessa is an energetic, caring, compassionate student,” said Dr. Eileen Walsh, associate dean for research and scholarship and director of the college’s honors program. “She will readily apply the knowledge, skills and clinical experiences attained in our program to the care of children in the neonatal intensive care unit. It has been a pleasure to work with such a talented student.”
Vogel’s interest in nursing was spurred by her fascination with the human body after taking an anatomy and physiology class in high school.
In addition to learning about the body and how it works, Vogel wanted to do something that could help people.
“I enjoy making an impact in other people’s lives and making their days be the best I can,” she said. “Nursing seemed like a great combination of those things. I’m so glad I stuck with it.”
Her decision to come to UToledo was in part based on the positive experiences her father and older sister had while studying engineering at UToledo. But Vogel also was impressed with the College of Nursing’s reputation and the overall campus environment.
“The University has great success rates for their nursing program,” Vogel said. “I toured both the Main Campus and the Health Science Campus and was really impressed. It felt like a place where I could make my home for the next four years.”
In addition to her studies, Vogel spent the spring 2021 semester working full time as a nursing assistant at The University of Toledo Medical Center, an experience that she said allowed her to see a diverse group of patients and further cemented her passion for the nursing field.
While her time at UToledo was uniquely shaped by the pandemic, she praised the ways in which students were given opportunities, encouragement and support.
“For as crazy as a time as it’s been, the University and the College of Nursing have done a great job at helping us succeed. All the interactions I’ve had with the instructors, it just seems like they care so much about you individually,” she said. “They want you to succeed. As much as you’re willing to get out and ask questions, they’re willing to help.”