College of Nursing set for record promotion

This weekend, the section of Ohio Stadium reserved for College of Nursing graduate students might seem a little busier than usual.

A record 700 college graduates are expected to celebrate the start on Sunday. It is a number and a class that speaks of passion, perseverance and purpose. For many of these students, much of their health care training took place during a deadly pandemic.

For Cincinnati native Aarhea Hope, acting as a caregiver when her grandmother suffered from stage four colon cancer inspired her desire to become a nurse.

“My mom and I helped her out and just took care of her,” Hope said. “That experience really made me understand what I wanted to do because of how it made me feel. You know, you get that feeling inside and you’re like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Hope is a first-generation college student who began her college career on the Newark campus. She admitted it was a challenge at first until she found peers and mentors who helped her succeed.

After graduating, Hope will go to Emory University to pursue a doctorate as a family nurse practitioner. From her job training to her education, she feels Ohio State has prepared her well.

“I feel like all the boxes at Ohio State have been checked for me to succeed at any institution,” she said. “Looking at me, as a freshman, you couldn’t tell me I was moving to Atlanta, going to Emory and going to be a doctor. [of nursing]. Because that wasn’t my plan at first. But at Ohio State, they really instilled that confidence in me and made me realize how much potential I had.

Laura Beth KalvasFor PhD candidate Laura Beth Kalvas, this will be the next chapter in a journey across Ohio State that began as an undergraduate student in 2009. A Presidential Fellowship and continuing education grants have helped Kalvas pursue her career at the College of Nursing.

“I’m really thrilled with Ohio State’s choice,” she said.

She felt the decision was validated at a conference this spring when she spoke to her peers about the positive reputation of the doctoral nursing program.

“It’s just nice to hear. When you’re inside, I don’t know if you still know, so you’re talking to people who aren’t going to Ohio State and you’re like, ‘Oh wow. I like Ohio State, but other people also think it’s good.

As a researcher, Kalvas has focused on sleep disturbances and delirium in children under 2 years old in intensive care units.

Kalvas will continue his research at Ohio State. She obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences. She plans to continue to expand her research on how hospital conditions might be linked to delirium in children and to develop interventions in the critical care environment to promote sleep and reduce the risk of delirium.

“I’m training in intervention research and doing observational research in my doctoral work,” she says. “So how do I take what I observe and act on it to improve outcomes, and then I also continue to look at this relationship between sleep and delirium and children.”

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