Accelerated nursing alumna recognized for excelling in the ICU

October 26, 2023

Danielle Petrovich stands in front of a surgical ICU unit in her nurse uniform.

Danielle Petrovich '22 only spent a year at Quinnipiac, but her time as a Bobcat was extremely formative for her career.

As a former student-athlete, Petrovich is used to the hustle, she said. She always had to balance schoolwork with practice, but once at Quinnipiac, she no longer played a sport and could truly focus on her studies.

“I had the opportunity to devote much of my energy to nursing school, which I am very grateful for,” said Petrovich. “The people I met thanks to this program taught me how to be a nurse and also how to best communicate with others and be the best version of myself so that I can provide the best care for my patients.”

While the accelerated bachelor’s in nursing program operates at a fast pace, she kept up with the demanding workload which led her to become a current surgical trauma ICU nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital. When Petrovich began nursing school, she expressed the idea of possibly working in the ICU but was unsure she could handle it emotionally.

“My first clinical instructor, Taylor Hartman, told me she could see me doing really well in an ICU, and Professor Longley, who became an incredible mentor for me, guided me to discover for myself that the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) was exactly where I wanted to be,” said Petrovich. “In a summer clinical rotation, I was able to shadow in the SICU on York Street thanks to my instructor, Cecrystal Umeugo. I loved it. It was even more exciting than I imagined it, and everyone there was so welcoming. I was lucky enough to be interviewed and offered a job. I am incredibly grateful that my managers gave me the opportunity to start exactly where I had hoped to."

Despite her previous achievements and successful career path thus far, Petrovich was surprised to receive the award of the employee of the month at the hospital. Even as a newly hired nurse, she stood out among the rest. Fellow employees cheered for Petrovich and expressed their support for her dedication to her role.

“Another unexpected, but much appreciated, twist that came to be was a family member writing me a note on our ‘SICU Star’ board,” said Petrovich. “This is where we can give shout-outs to members of our team for things like going above and beyond for patients, for each other or for great teamwork during tough shifts. We had a patient who had been there for a good while and was very sick and unstable. Her mother wrote me a note on the board saying that my employee of the month picture gave her comfort each time she came to or left our unit during that incredibly difficult time. I was shocked when my coworker told me about it and was so touched reading her note. Thankfully, her daughter got better and is no longer under ICU care.”

Petrovich shared that she had an incredible, insightful experience in the Quinnipiac nursing program and owes much of her opportunities to the faculty and her fellow students who helped her grow. Peter Longley, clinical assistant professor of nursing, speaks very highly of Petrovich as her mentor.

“She was proactive in her learning and seeking coaching and mentorship,” said Longley. “She is an excellent active listener that worked in integrating the advice given to her and as you can see, she is making the most of it."

Now as she is completely immersed in the world of nursing, Petrovich acknowledges the significance of her short 12 months as a Bobcat in shaping her career.

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