Ivy Tech graduate becomes pediatric nurse in hometown of Bedford, Ind.

BEDFORD – Ivy Tech Community College alumna Deanah Conolty graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing in May 2016 and was offered a job after she graduated at Southern Indiana Pediatrics in Bedford, Ind. Although she was offered a medical assisting position immediately, she waited until after she passed the NCLEX-RN exam before accepting a full-time position as a pediatric nurse.

Conolty enrolled at Ivy Tech shortly after graduating high school because it was affordable and close to home. Conolty graduated from Bedford North Lawrence High School.

When Conolty enrolled at Ivy Tech, her daughter was only five months old, so she needed a college that was close to home.

“I couldn’t go to a traditional college campus and Ivy Tech made sense,” she said. “I never had to do a student loan. At Ivy Tech, I could get the same education as other colleges without draining my bank account.”

Conolty took her first classes at Ivy Tech’s learning center located in Bedford.

“Any classes I could take in Bedford I did,” she said. “It was good because it was closer to home and laid back. The classes were smaller.”

Conolty said she wanted to be in either healthcare or education when she enrolled at Ivy Tech, but wasn’t quite sure.

“I just knew I wanted to be involved with kids in some way,” she said. “I remember going to Mrs. Downs and Rogers in the very first semester and saying that I was not sure if nursing was for me. I had a five-month old baby at home and I was overwhelmed. They were there to pick me back up and encourage me. They and other staff were always so kind and there to help me anytime I needed anything.”

When things got tough, she said she could rely on faculty to help.

“Mrs. Downs and Rogers helped one on one with my math when I was struggling,” she said. “And it wasn’t just them, it was all faculty. Ivy Tech gave me the one-on-one experience I needed. I use the skills I learned every day. Blood draws, charting, or what to do in certain situations.”

Conolty said that she is happy she chose nursing and loves her career.

“I really love getting to help the kids,” she said. “I care for numerous children a day, when they’re sick or getting up-to-date on vaccines in their checkups. We have a lot of difficult situations. There is so much more to pediatrics than I ever would have imagined. It is tough sometimes, but also really rewarding.”

Conolty said that she is taking a short break from school but now that her daughter is three years old, she is researching Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs and plans to continue her education.

Ivy Tech Bloomington’s Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program is competitive and rigorous. For the Fall of 2016, 125 students applied to the limited-enrollment program, and this high level of interest is consistent from year-to-year. The program accepts 40 students in the fall semester, another 20 in the spring semester, and an additional 20 in the summer. The program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate average for the past four years is 92%.

For information about the Ivy Tech nursing program, visit ivytech.edu/nursing. For information about how to apply to Ivy Tech, visit ivytech.edu/applynow.

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