After graduating from high school, Connie Nabozny ’20 completed a diploma program in radiology from Reading Hospital. In the early 1990s, there were ample jobs available as an X-ray technician. She accepted a position at Reading Hospital, where she is an interventional radiologic technologist in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
She explains that a few years ago, persistent discussions surfaced about nurses and healthcare professionals needing a college degree and certification to get, and even retain, a job. “I figure that at some point, I wouldn’t be untouchable,” she admits.
Recognizing that most of the medical imaging programs are affiliated through a college, Connie decided to go back to school. Although being 50 years old with many responsibilities—working full-time, taking care of her daughter, maintaining her house, and doing homework—was hard enough, she didn’t want to put off enrolling in college. “I couldn’t imagine being any further into my life and having someone say ‘you know what, you have to go back to school and get a degree or you won’t have a job,’” she states plainly. “I decided I would do it on my terms instead of someone else’s.”
Her path to Immaculata University was serendipitous, and swift. One evening she was going through her mail and noticed a postcard from Immaculata listing several new programs—among them was Allied Health. Connie called, learned everything she needed to know, transferred prior college credits and enrolled. Now, Connie is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Allied Health for Clinical Professionals. The program is designed for students just like Connie who have a clinical license/certification and experience, are working in their field, and want to finish their Bachelor degree to continue to advance.
“I know how hard Connie has worked – professionally, personally, and academically – to achieve this important educational goal. I’m so happy for her and proud to work at a university that recognizes the many accomplishments and talents of our adult students,” explains Kate Kearney, assistant director for the College of Adult Professional Studies.
Although Connie already had 25 years of healthcare experience, she found the online Allied Health program worthwhile. The Spanish for Healthcare Professionals class will be useful for her at the hospital as it provides a foundation for communicating in emergency situations. She also benefitted from the Research and Analysis Using Statistics class that enables her to better understand “the numbers.” As a member of Reading Hospital’s Structural Heart Team, she is now more confident in analyzing the data from the team.
Residing in Hamburg, Pa., northwest of Reading, Connie appreciated that all her classes could be completed totally online. Although the program was rigorous, and she spent many late nights completing assignments, she had support from her family and great mentors at the hospital.
Connie confesses that the biggest obstacle that she encountered was the spring semester because of the stress of everyday life during the pandemic. She is just like everyone else—getting used to life the way it is now. She says that she is longing for the time when she’ll have a normal work day.
Now that Connie has finished her degree, she jokingly admits that she is still in “class mode.”
“I’ll sit down and say to myself, ‘okay, where’s my laptop, I have to type something,’” she says laughing.
This year, Connie’s daughter, Madelyn, is graduating from high school. With their celebration plans on hold for now, the two new members of the Class of 2020, will celebrate together – six feet apart.