Macie first stepped onto the Notre Dame campus as a junior enrolled in post-secondary classes while at Mayfield High School. As one of six children, she was on the hook to find a college her family could afford. Two other things were also at the forefront of her mind– being able to get a “real” college experience, even though she’d be commuting, and enrolling in the best nursing program with small class sizes that she could find.
“Notre Dame checked off all the boxes. I really wanted to know my professors and have that one-on-one time. I was able to get involved and still be on campus as much as somebody who lived here,” she says. Before her sophomore year, Macie applied to be a residential assistant and lived in the dorms at no additional cost. She was able to use her degree and interests to organize resident life programs centered on personal wellness and often acted as a peer counselor to students struggling with mental health issues.
There were many moments in life that pushed Macie towards caregiving, but she found her calling as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse during college clinical rotations at the Cleveland Clinic. “Through my experience in my critical care class, I knew that I liked working in ICUs. I like the lower patient-to-nurse ratio. The patients are more critical, but you get to deliver better care,” Macie says. “We always say practice makes permanent. At the clinical site, these are real people in real-life situations. Those are the times when I learn the most.”
With two to three times a week spent working in world-renowned hospitals like MetroHealth, University Hospitals, and St. Vincent Charity, among others, there are many opportunities for hands-on experience. Whether you’re interested in critical care, OBGYN, surgery, or pediatrics, there are outstanding clinical instructors hand-selected by Notre Dame faculty to learn from. “Notre Dame is small,” reflects Macie, “I was worried I wasn’t getting that big school experience, but I think in the end it was the perfect fit.”