Pre-Nursing Alumni Success Stories

Randolph-Macon alumni in graduate school, and those with healthcare careers all agree: their R-MC education paved the way for their success. Through a challenging curriculum, one-on-one attention from professors who truly care, and a dedicated staff, the R-MC experience prepares students for success.

  • Marlène Graf ’10, CMSRN, BSN

    Graf is a Certified Medical Surgical Registered Nurse at VCU on a general medicine unit. “My R-MC education is what continues to drive me to be a better nurse, and it’s why I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical trials research at Drexel University,” says Graf, who majored in biology and minored in French at Randolph-Macon.  She earned her RN at VCU. “I decided on a career in healthcare after taking a general biology class to fulfill graduation requirements, which is the beauty of a liberal arts education! The connections I made at R-MC helped me find experience in healthcare outside of campus, and helped guide me in completing academic requirements to further my education.”

  • Diane Blackburn Gearhart ’09, Critical Care Nurse and Graduate of the VCU Accelerated BS in Nursing Program

    Diane B. Blackburn“It’s fascinating work, and I really love it," she says. A biology major at R-MC, Gearhart says her education not only prepared her soundly for her nursing program but also provided a wonderful four-year experience.

    “I wouldn’t give up my years at R-MC for anything. I am glad to have my two degrees. I love biology, and I love nursing, and I believe that with all the research I did at R-MC I was better prepared for the nursing program.” Gearhart says that an internship at St. Francis Medical Center and her senior thesis research project prepared her well for the demanding accelerated program at VCU.

    “The VCU program is a very intense five semesters,” she says. “In addition to classes, you have clinicals, so you are working in the hospital at the same time. And the program requires a lot of research. I was very well prepared for all of it, because at Randolph-Macon we had intense, amazing classes that challenged me. All the science I had down absolutely, and my classes also made me comfortable with writing papers, conducting research, and knowing how to use resources. The professors challenged me but also supported me at the same time.”

  • Hallie Stewart ’10, BSN, RN, St. Mary’s Hospital, Critical Care

Hallie StewartAt R-MC, Stewart majored in biology and minored in chemistry. She earned her nursing degrees at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. “I wanted a career in which I would be continually challenged,” says Stewart. “When I see that I have made a difference for my patients, even if it’s just a smile, I know this is the right career for me.” Stewart says her R-MC education prepared her for the rigors of nursing school. “Challenging classes, supportive professors, and a good study and work ethic, all of which I learned at R-MC, helped me succeed in nursing school,” says Stewart, who also conducted research at Randolph-Macon and shadowed a pediatrician during January Term (J-term). In addition, she was a member of the varsity swim team and the Pre-health Society. “I would tell current students to take advantage of all the opportunities that the college has to offer. Do research, travel, join a club, participate in sports.”