picture of Paige Barillo

Paige Barillo

Nursing Student Readies For Geisinger Externship

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 students to recognize that, like any field, healthcare has its share of challenges. The work is exceptionally gratifying, but it can also be demanding. To be both successful and happy in nursing, it helps to have certain personal characteristics and attributes.

In honor of National Nurses Week and all of Marywood University’s nursing majors, this Profile in Passion highlights Paige Barillo, a third-year student from the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program.

Like most college students, Barillo is looking forward to the upcoming summer break. Aside from having more time to ride her motorcycle, wakeboard across Lake Wallenpaupack, and fish for trout, the self-described “adrenaline junkie” will take part in her first nurse externship. The 10-week program, offered by Geisinger, provides 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 will have the opportunity to transition into part-time and full-time roles within Geisinger.

“I’m looking forward to working in a hospital and gaining that experience,” said Barillo. “I’ll get to spend the summer shadowing someone and seeing how things run. The Neurotrauma floor that I will be working on is the same floor where our clinicals were held, which is great. I know a lot of the nurses on that floor and how amazing they are, so it should make the experience that much better.”

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.”    

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.

Barillo said 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.


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