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Renee's Path to the School of Nursing

A story written by future registered nurse, Renee Wilczewski Yosten, who was recently on the cover of the Erie Times-News.

Renee Wilczewski
Renee Wilczewski Yosten with her children.

In 2010, the business I worked for was sending the work overseas, and I was losing my job (who would have thought phone books would become a thing of the past?). I contacted a local college to inquire about their RN program only to be told I wouldn't do well as an adult student. I believed the response and started my career in property management.

In 2015, I received amazing care when our girls were born at Magee-Womens, UPMC Hamot from nurses I now call friends. They reignited my longing to become a nurse and I began to research nursing programs. Eventually, I talked myself out of taking the leap, recalling what that admissions person told me, and recognizing that I now had two babies added to the mix.

In 2019, after almost 10 years in property management, I was burned out and craving something more. I applied for a position at UPMC Hamot. If I couldn't be a nurse, surely working at a hospital would be enough. I entered a new career in healthcare in January 2020. Three months later a worldwide pandemic began.

At first, I wanted to leave and never come back. But then I watched my new work family spring into action. They created COVID units and a testing center; I learned about surge plans and PAPRs, and witnessed just how awful it was to see a patient raced from the unit with a team fully donned in PPE. Units filled up with COVID patients, while non-COVID patients continued to pour in. I did what I could to help but it never felt like enough.

What I had to do became clear when the announcement came that the new UPMC Jameson School of Nursing at UPMC Hamot was opening in 2021. I took an entrance exam, applied ... and was accepted! I love to share the exciting news that I am beginning my journey to become a registered nurse!

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