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Laboure Alumni Spotlight: Melissa Deren, ASN graduate

Melissa Deren switched from business school to nursing school to find her true calling. What are her plans for the future? Read on.


This is a career change for you- what inspired you to go from aspiring wedding planner to nursing school?

Before Braintree Rehab, I worked at a small, private practice in Quincy. It was pediatric care and I was there for 5 years. When I started, I was 19 years old. I started as a receptionist and excelled in that position. My boss asked if I would be interested in learning about the medical assistant position and I jumped [at] the opportunity. I was sick of doing paperwork and not [doing any] personal one-on-one care. Then I realized, "I don't know how to talk to kids!" I mean, kids have imaginations and they live in their own little worlds. I learned quickly that I was just a big kid [at heart] and loved talking with them. Making them feel better in some small way made my day.

I was in business school [at the time] trying to become a wedding planner but something hit me. I had spent over $50,000 going to business school and I knew I wasn't happy. What made me happy was being at work with kids all day. So, I stopped business school and I applied to multiple nursing schools.

Why did you choose to attend Labouré’s ASN program?

I liked that it was close to home, small, and I knew a bunch of people who had gone to school here for their ASN.

Describe some of your clinical experiences at Labouré College.

My first and last clinicals were great experiences. I learned a great deal, especially being on an oncology floor at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA.

My maternity rotation is when I confirmed what I wanted to do with my future. I loved bringing life into the world and being there for the first dew days/months of life.

Also, I really lucked out with my clinical instructors. All of them were amazing and always ready to teach and help. There was one in particular whom I will always remember. I always tell myself that if I am ever half the nurse she is, I would be proud of myself.

Describe a typical day or shift as a nursing technician at a rehabilitation hospital.

I work on the stroke unit the majority of the time but can float from floor to floor. It is a lot of physical labor. A typical day in my current job consists of caring for 7-10 patients. Being a nurse technician is not a joke.

You are getting these patients up, fed (breakfast, lunch and dinner), washed- caring for their every need. A typical patient will need to go to the bathroom about 4-5 times on my shift, asked to be washed up, ask for pain medications, and accidentally hit the call light about 5 times (even though I think they just want the company).

Where do you work right now?

I currently am working as a per-diem nursing technician at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital in Braintree, MA. I started a few months ago so I could try to get my "foot in the door" before taking my boards. A lot of hospitals want experience before they will hire you and I figured this was the best way to get in.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Eventually I want to work with kids/babies. I feel like I have a special connection with them and it's a whole different world with them. I think at some point, I would like to apply to the Neonate Nurse Practitioner program at Northeastern University.

Tell us about a patient that made an impact on you.

One of my patients had dementia. She was fine one minute and the next she was crying and confused about where she was and who I was. I was trying to talk her down and reorient her so she knew she was safe and that she wanted to be here to get better.

Her roommate heard the whole conversation and when I went to walk out of the room, she said to me, "You’re amazing and so patient with her, you're the only one who has gotten to her.” It's the small things that matter. The ones that no one else will know about and you won't always get praised for but when you go home, you smile because you somehow made an impact on someone that day.

Ready to change your life? Contact us at admissions@laboure.edu to find out how you can become a nurse.

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