Nursing student finds it hard to say goodbye after four memorable years

May 03, 2023

kaitlin gorman, a girl with light brown hair and blue eyes, smiles as she poses for the camera in her Quinnipiac nursing scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck

Kaitlin Gorman '23 can usually be found in study rooms across Quinnipiac’s three campuses — even with everything she has on her plate, her academics always come first. But these quiet rooms with white boards have become her favorite little corners whether she’s in Hamden or North Haven.

Graduating this year with her degree in nursing, Gorman first heard of Quinnipiac when her sister was touring the campus. As soon as she saw the school at age 14, she fell in love.

She came back to tour later and fell in love all over again. This time it wasn’t just the feel of campus, but the practicality.

Academic buildings on one side, dorms on another. The North Haven Campus had laboratories and simulating rooms she dreamed of working in, and the size made her feel a bit like Goldilocks — not too big, not too small, but a size where it felt just right.

Once Gorman got on campus, she made sure it really was right for her.

She joined a sorority, ran for student government, got a work study job and wound up joining the orientation team and multiple honor societies.

Needless to say, she’s a little bit busy, but all of her hard work has led to winning four Undergraduate Awards. She’s been presented the Outstanding First Year Award, the Albert H. Jente Memorial Prize, the Student Government Involvement Award and the Philip Troup Achievement Prize.

“My biggest success is winning these awards. It means so much to me to be recognized for contributing something to the university that has given me so much,” Gorman explained.

In addition to becoming her home away from home, Quinnipiac has also brought her to the National Student Nurse Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

Two nursing professors and a collection of nursing students were given the opportunity to travel with the Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association. While there, they attended review sessions, learned new practical skills, met nurses from around the country and also had the time to explore Nashville.

“When we had a long delay on the way home, we saw someone with a guitar and asked him to play us a song," said Gorman. “We wound up getting the whole airport terminal singing and dancing for the few hours until we took off. It was a great week and even when we faced an unexpected delay, we made the most of the situation and it became my favorite part of the trip.”

This kind of positivity and making the most of every situation is Gorman’s specialty. Her time on the Student Government Association (SGA) gave her the chance to work things that she wanted to improve around campus. She created a plan for students to schedule learning commons appointments virtually her first year, and her second year she focused on dining.

However, her biggest accomplishment took her two years as class president to accomplish. Her plan was to create a Certified Nursing Assistant course on campus so students would be able to graduate with an important certification that’s needed for nurses in the professional world.

“I have first-hand experience with how important CNA’s are and I’ve seen how many Quinnipiac students would benefit from this and want this course," she said. "I worked with multiple deans, professors, and the state of Connecticut to accomplish my goal. SGA members and my mentors supported me through it all, and I’m so thankful to have part of such an impactful organization for all fours years of my time here.”

There were times when she was told the CNA course would never work out, that it was impractical or that students didn’t want one. She continued to work on it, collect the research and present her findings and finally was able to complete this plan to give future students the chance to be one step further ahead in the competitive professional world they’re graduating into.

This confidence was one of the many things she gained at Quinnipiac. Mentors, friends and confidence are hard to quantify, but they’ve made the college experience special for Gorman.

Quinnipiac had given Gorman friends that she knows she’ll have in her life forever, knowledge and skills to become a successful nurse, and resources for resume building, cover letters and interviews.

Her time in clinicals at Yale and Hartford Hospital have given her a chance to be in well-known hospitals and care for patients at large. Her lab courses prepared her with practical skills, such as needle injections and wound care.

“I usually think of the quote ‘how lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ I feel so grateful for a memorable four years here, and Quinnipiac and Hamden have become my home," Gorman said of graduating. "I’ll miss everything from friends to long study sessions, but I know I’m prepared for a successful future, and I am so excited to start my next chapter as a registered nurse.”

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now