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Spotlight on Student Success

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Holly Burlew

Oregon-born nursing student pioneering a path to graduation.

It seems nowadays Holly Burlew has all the confidence she needs. As a current nursing student, she made the fall 2015 President’s Honor Roll with a 4.0 grade point average. This vibrant young woman is grateful to the nursing staff for helping her move forward with her nursing career. Burlew notes, “There have been several people on the nursing staff who have stood out to me as exceptional. Rocky Stevenson was my clinical instructor last term and really challenged me to do my best. He shared many inspiring stories to help us understand what it means to be a nurse. And April Myler has such a large base of knowledge, it is hard to stump her with our incessant questions. She is also a fantastic leader and encourages us to work together in groups so that we can become good critical thinkers.”

You might say Holly took the long road to get to where she is today. She enrolled at UCC right after high school, and was able to participate in the work-study program. But soon she was offered a full-time job at a local mortgage company. So she decided to pursue a career in the finance industry and to put her education on hold. Fast forward nearly 10 years, Holly explains, “I had my dream job as a loan officer, had gotten married and had two kids. Unfortunately, the mortgage loan office in which I was working closed in 2011, and I was not sure what to do next.”

Burlew contemplated her options. She was not sure if a medical career was right for her. So, becoming a phlebotomist in the family business was a way to get a feel for medical work. She has not looked back. Of course, starting school after 10 years was daunting, but she found support. “Learning at UCC has been a very nurturing experience. It has helped me to see what IS possible, instead of what isn’t” says Burlew. She started classes slowly, taking just one math class to begin. Even so, she experienced anxiety about school, and even had nightmares about it. Professor Mike Matteo helped her to gain the confidence that she needed. “He was always so kind and encouraging and made it seem easy,” she says. Today, Holly Burlew looks forward to standing proudly at graduation day with the Registered Nursing class of 2017.

Photo: Students often form strong bonds of friendship and support. Above, L to R Nursing students Jen Chase, Holly Burlew and Katelin McDonald. Credit: Holly Burlew.

April Myler MSN, RN - Contact
Department Chair of Nursing/Director
Phone: 541-440-7879