Nursing Student Finds Success Following Graduation
After four years of preparation, Paige Barillo is primed for a healthy career in nursing. She recently accepted a registered nurse position in emergency services at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Dickson City, PA.
“I’m looking forward to working in a hospital and gaining that experience,” said Barillo.
In 2023, Barillo graduated from Marywood University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). She was also inducted into the Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, and presented with the Nursing Leadership Award and Outstanding Student Performance Award as well.
Barillo believes her passion for helping others stems from her own rural roots as the daughter of a pediatric occupational therapist (OT). Her mother, Jennifer, has been a professional in the medical field for over 20 years.
Barillo chose to pursue a career in nursing near the end of high school, becoming the 2019 recipient of the Cathy Collins Scholarship. Her decision to attend Marywood University came down to the “at-home feeling” she received when visiting campus. The positive relationships she’s forged with the students, faculty, and staff have only made her experience richer.
“Marywood feels like home to me,” said Barillo. “Everyone comes together here, it’s very supportive. I can also say that I met my two best friends here. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this place. Marywood gave me the professional and personal experiences I was hoping for.”
One of those experiences included a nurse externship in the summer of 2022. The 10-week program, offered by Geisinger, provided Barillo and other nursing students with the opportunity to practice hands-on patient care and to develop their professional nursing skills. At the end of the externship, the nursing students had the opportunity to transition into part-time and full-time roles within Geisinger.
“I spent last summer shadowing someone and seeing how things run," said Barillo. “The Neurotrauma floor that I worked on was the same floor where our clinicals were held, which is great. I knew a lot of the nurses on that floor which made the experience that much better.”
Few careers are as personally rewarding as nursing. Professional respect, flexible job opportunities, advancement potential and the chance to make a difference in people’s lives are just some of what a nursing career offers. It’s important for Marywood’s Nursing students to recognize that, like any field, healthcare has its share of challenges.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2014-2024, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.7 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2024, an increase of 439,300 or 16%. The Bureau also projects the need for 649,100 replacement nurses in the workforce, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.09 million by 2024.