University Community

OHIO Eastern prepares Jenna Cunningham for nursing career

Jenna Cunningham chose Ohio University Eastern not only for its close proximity to her home but also for small class sizes, one-on-one faculty interaction, open door advising and experience-based classwork.

Cunningham graduated this spring with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

“Before the program started, I came for an open house event and ever since that night, I knew it would be my home for the next four years, Cunningham said.  “Most of my family are Ohio University alumni as well.” 

Cunningham said earning her degree has been challenging, but extremely worth it.  She credits support from family, friends, and faculty for helping her to overcome the obstacles she faced over the last four years. 

“I had endless support from my family and friends, and I am very grateful for that,” she said. “I also knew that if I was having a hard time, any of the nursing faculty would be there to help me whether it was just to talk or to give advice. I took one day at a time, reminded myself of my goals and why I wanted to be a nurse.”

Getting support from faculty and preceptors during nursing clinicals helped Cunningham find her passion. She will take the skills and lessons she learned with her in her nursing career.

“Susan Dowell and Kayla Lucarelli sparked my interest in working in maternity-newborn and pediatrics for my preceptorship,” Cunningham said. “I worked at WVU Wheeling Hospital mother-baby unit during my clinicals with Anica Lease and Caitlin Groves.  They all inspired me and thanks to them I truly found my passion.”

While at Ohio University Eastern, she formed lasting relationships with her professors and peers that helped sustain her through her studies. Cunningham describes the nursing faculty at OHIO Eastern, as knowledgeable, caring, and supportive. She praised her instructors including Dowell, Lucarelli, Matt Fox, Loretta Marchetta and Sarah Davis, crediting them for helping her succeed in the program.

“I’ve had fun times with my classmates. Even though the time we all spent together was usually during classes or labs, there was never a dull moment, and we all knew how to make each other laugh when we needed it most,” she said. “Every nursing faculty member was very helpful in the last four years, giving their undivided time, knowledge, and encouragement to help us to be the best nurses we can be.” 

Cunningham advises other students to take advantage of the opportunities around them to enjoy their time in college.

“Don’t miss out on all OHIO Eastern has to offer and the events that go on. Take advantage of the big moments, but also the little moments like sitting in the lounge doing homework or spending time with classmates,” she said. “Time definitely flies in college, so enjoy every minute of it!”

Cunningham is the Outstanding Graduate for OHIO Eastern’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing cohort. Outstanding Graduates are nominated by faculty for their scholarly or professional accomplishments, participation in university activities, community service and more.

May 12, 2023
Staff reports