Meet Our Students
Stories are powerful, and our students and recent graduates tell theirs the best. Read the stories of our current
students and recent graduates from our campus program to hear why they chose The University of Rhode Island
to prepare for the next step in their rewarding careers.
Samantha Ahmed, Class of 2014
Hometown: Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Samantha chose URI because it was close to home, but she's fallen in love with her professors, who she says
are the program's biggest strength. "All the nursing faculty are very helpful and kind, they always want
what's best for you, and they expect you to work hard. They're pretty awesome," she said.
She's a bit of an explorer, and she saw a career in nursing as a terrific way to explore all sorts of fields
– trauma, intensive care, community health, anaesthesia, teaching and more. "With nursing, I can keep
growing and learning as a healthcare provider, while in other majors you get stuck in a single field. I've
always been the type of person who wants to help other people, and nursing will allow me to improve peoples'
lives emotionally, physically and mentally," she said. But while the versatility of nursing is a constant,
Samantha does have some pretty clear big ideas for her career – she wants to work for a non-profit
organization, serving low-income unindustrialized populations around the world.
"Thank you for everything that you do to make this online program possible. This former Rhode Islander really
appreciates it! Cheers to graduation/STTI, the continued success of this program, and all the nurses that
make a difference every single day!"
—Anne Boutin Galipeau, online RN to BS in Nursing graduate
Maura Coburn, Class of 2014
Hometown: Windham, New Hampshire
Lots of little girls say they want to be a nurse when they grow up, but for Maura, it stuck. And she chose
URI as the place to become a nurse because of its reputation and location near beaches and big cities and
because "the campus had all of things I was looking for." Such as the fact that it's a large(ish) school
that feels like a small school where she sees familiar faces all over campus and professors are approachable,
accessible, and make time for students outside of class.
She's spent the past several summers providing in-home care for a 90-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer's
Disease – an internship that's given her real world experiences to enhance her classroom learning.
But it's also inspired her to be the kind of nurse patients look forward to seeing, the kind of nurse that
makes them feel comforted. We'd call that a pretty big idea.
Morgan Deprey, Class of 2013
Hometown: Bristol, Connecticut
Lots of options. That's what appealed to Morgan about majoring in nursing. And sure enough, with her bachelor's
degree, she'll be able to move into direct patient care, research, education, or pretty much any area she
wants to. And because her mom has always worked in health care settings, she discovered long ago that every
area of health care offers a rewarding and exciting career.
The surprise for Morgan, though, has been the intimate environment within URI's College of Nursing. She's created
a network of friends and faculty, both in and outside of nursing. And she says the interactions between nursing
faculty and students are very personal.
"They make it clear they're here for us, to help us grow and learn as both future nurses and individuals,"
she said. She's been impressed by the ability and willingness of the faculty to adapt lecture and clinical
materials to the most current healthcare practices.
Her big idea, for now anyway, is to make sure her patients know she is there just to serve them specifically
— probably something she picked up from her professors here. Whatever Morgan winds up doing in nursing,
we're sure she's going to do it well.
Kimberly Drucker, Class of 2015
Hometown: Attleboro, Massachusetts
Just because the human body is so darned fascinating. That's what attracted Kimberly to a career in nursing.
It was URI's combination of big and small that attracted her to pursue her nursing education here. First,
"even though the campus is in a rural/suburban area, the clinicals are mostly done in a city. I love that
I get aspects of both worlds at one university," she said. And second, "I love that I can walk around a big
campus and see familiar faces everywhere," she said.
What has surprised her most, however, is that that same intimacy applies to her interactions with her professors
too. She didn't expect professors to be so approachable, so willing to respond to emails and answer questions,
and so interested in seeing her succeed in nursing.
Kimberly's not sure where she wants to specialize – some days it's emergency room and trauma, and other
days it's gerontology. Good thing that at URI, she's welcome to change her mind as often as she wants to.
In fact, she says she's most excited about all the changes that are coming to the health care in the U.S.
and that no matter how she uses her nursing degree, she's "happy to be a part of what will improve our health
care system and ultimately the health of our country."
Leslie Montague, Class of 2013
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
The inspiration for Leslie's nursing career came from watching nurses care for her great-grandmother when she
was ill. She knew then that she wanted to be the kind of nurse that makes a positive, caring impact on her
patients and their families.
She already knew about URI's strong reputation for nursing education, but she's been pleasantly surprised by
the diversity within the College of Nursing, especially the growing number of male nurses. And she's excited
about the new residence hall opening up for nursing underclassmen, "which is going to be amazing," she says.
Equally amazing are the nursing professors at URI, who Leslie says are invaluable in preparing students for
the most professional career possible – from proper etiquette to hard-earned grades to the strictest
professionalism expected in the real world. She says they're helping her become the kind of nurse she wished
her great-grandmother had – one who is happy, compassionate, and unlimited in her care.
Gabrielle Rate, Class of 2016
Hometown: East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Watching her aunt drop her busy schedule and travel from New York to Florida to care for a relative, Gabrielle
saw that nursing is more than a task-oriented career. "It's a career in which you develop a special bond
with your patients while providing them with comfort and care. My dream job would be to work at Brigham and
Women's Hospital in Boston, make my patients comfortable in a hospital, give them someone they can depend
on and share a relationship with," she says.
The whole idea of relationships have been central to experience at URI. She chose URI because our nursing professors
seemed to really care about helping students reach their goals. "I sensed that there were close interpersonal
relationships amongst the students and professors." And indeed there were. "The nursing faculty is a group
of intelligent, caring and patient individuals. They are always willing to help me and answer any questions
I have. I can tell they want us to succeed as nursing students."
She also found a close-knit student community too. "I originally thought I wasn't going to be able to get to
know people living on a large campus, but living-learning communities allow nursing students to form relationships
outside of class and help one another with studies, and as a freshman, I'm already forming close relationships
that I'm sure will last throughout my time here."
Sabrina Schores, Class of 2015
Hometown: Stoneham, Massachusetts
When her family needed extensive medical care, Sabrina was introduced at a very young age to the knowledge
and care that nurses offer their patients daily. She decided then that she wanted to pay that care forward
to her own patients one day, and that day has come. She chose URI for the strong reputation we've developed
through our work with local hospitals and healthcare facilities, plus clinical experiences and classes that
made her feel "URI was going to offer me an optimal educational experience compared to others."
Sabrina says she learns best visually and by doing hands-on work. She's gotten plenty of both in strong labs
that correspond with lecture courses and clinical settings that have allowed her to put theory to practice
and "broadened my knowledge of the nursing world greatly," she says. "URI starts clinical experience during
our sophomore year, as opposed to some schools that start during junior year. The multiple tools used during
lab hours and the extensive number of open lab hours available are things I didn't expect. These allow for
extra practice and the most productive classes. URI has prepared me to be self-sufficient when it comes to
caring for my patients, to handle difficult situations on my own. I think my peers would say the same."
Simone Tessier, Class of 2013
Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island
A career in medicine was always in Simone's big plans, but it was the personal connections that nurses make
with their patients that led her to choose nursing. She saw it when she was volunteering at Women & Infants
Hospital as a high schooler, and now she's experiencing it firsthand from the appreciation expressed by the
patients she's cared for while at URI.
"Nothing puts a smile on my face more than a patient's 'thank you' at the end of a clinic day," she said. She's
also been experiencing those close connections with faculty and classmates in a nursing school environment
she says "feels like home. The faculty really care about students. They dedicate their time to help us success
and start off our careers on the right foot. I've never come across a professor here who was unwilling to
give as much as was needed," she said.
Besides the personal attention she gets from her faculty, Simone believes the strong theoretical foundation
she gets at URI has led to the best possible clinical experiences. She chose URI over other programs because
of the variety of courses, the variety of clinical experiences, and the combination of expert faculty and
Now, her big idea is to become a Certified Nurse Midwife and offer quality health care in countries that don't
enjoy the quality health system we have in the United States. "If I can make a difference in someone's life
on the other side of the world, I will have fulfilled my life's goal."