Championing patients and classmates, Feest leads by example

May 12, 2023

Elizabeth Feest

As a patient advocate and champion of her fellow classmates, Elizabeth Feest ’23, has led by example while earning her bachelor’s of nursing.

At the School of Nursing pinning ceremony, Feest received the 2023 Holistic Nursing Practice Award. The award, which recognizes clinical excellence and exceptional potential in the discipline of nursing, is presented to the senior nursing student who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the unity of body, mind, emotion, and spirit in the delivery of health care.  

“Quinnipiac does a great job of preparing us to treat not only our patient’s medical diagnostics, but also take into account all of those external factors that really play a huge role in providing supportive and holistic care,” said Feest.

The school’s baccalaureate nursing program is one of only 15 BSN programs in the nation designated as holistically endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation.  

In addition to providing a holistic layer of learning to her studies, Feest said her professional career development as a student of the School of Nursing was backed by the exceptional support and mentorship of its faculty and staff.

“I think Quinnipiac does a phenomenal job at being accessible to students, in terms of support. They really get involved as advocates and mentors; and encourage us to be the best version of ourselves in this profession. They go above and beyond to make students feel empowered,” said Feest.

On behalf of her fellow students, Feest was selected to give the student address at the May 6 pinning ceremony.“It was such an honor, and such an incredible experience to be able to give the student address,” said Feest. “It was a four-year reflection of all we went through, as well as looking forward to what lies ahead for all of us in the future - and having everyone take a collective breath; and realize that things are going to be okay! We have such exciting paths ahead of us.”

Her path as one who has led by example started as a freshman, when Feest received Quinnipiac University’s Outstanding Community Service Award. She was recognized for her extensive involvement with non-profit LiveWell Dementia Specialists of Southington, Connecticut. Feest volunteered with patients in LiveWell’s intergenerational Opening Minds through Arts program.

“I think that getting that recognition, as a young and impressionable freshman, helped instill a little bit of confidence and energy into me; and that really encouraged me to dip my toes and do as much as possible on campus,” said Feest.

In her sophomore year, Feest, a certified EMT, joined Quinnipiac University EMS (QU EMS). QU EMS is a student-run, all-volunteer supplemental first responder agency on campus.

“That was one of my first real-world interactions with not only the healthcare world, but also with being in a student-led organization and collaborating with other student healthcare professionals,” she said. “It also helped me gain some insight when I was transitioning into my junior and senior years of nursing school and getting into the clinical practice aspect.”

In recognition of her academic excellence at the School of Nursing, Feest was recently inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

“Being inducted along with some of my other classmates was a cool opportunity for me to look to my left and to my right, and experience reaching a really rewarding academic milestone together,” said Feest.

While excelling academically, Feest also held multiple patient care roles. After completing a student nurse internship in emergency room care with Hartford HealthCare, Feest transitioned to a per diem position as a student nurse tech in the same emergency department. She took shifts while also completing her senior year of studies.“I got that exposure while being in school, and I think that helped me gain a little confidence; and relate what I was learning in school to seeing it in real practice,” she said.

Following her School of Nursing commencement on May 14, Feest has been hired to begin a nursing role working with women and children.

“My eighth-grade yearbook says, ‘Elizabeth Feest will be a pediatric nurse.’ We got the nurse part right, and working with women and children isn’t too far off! So nursing was at the forefront of my brain; and here we are, many years later. It’s an amazing moment to see it all come to fruition,” she said.

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