Kelsey MarcAurele ’22, School of Nursing

Kelsey MarcAurele reflects on her time at UConn

Kelsey MarcAurele, outside the simulation lab at the Widmer wing of Storrs Hall

Kelsey MarcAurele, outside the simulation lab at the Widmer wing of Storrs Hall on April 13, 2022. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Over the last three years, Kelsey MarcAurele ’22 (NUR) has experienced a range of opportunities in the School of Nursing.

She spent the summer of 2021 in Washington, D.C., interning in the office of U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney, D-2nd District, as she learned about federal health policy. That came after joining with a fellow nursing student in 2019 to develop a now-patented medical glove dispenser to curb waste. Most recently, she vaccinated health care professionals at UConn Health when the COVID-19 inoculation first came out.

And those were extracurricular.

After transferring to UConn her sophomore year, the North Stonington native honed her craft through and through, learning its many facets and giving her a lifetime of experiences.

Why did you choose UConn?
UConn was always my dream school! My mom has worked at UConn for 33 years, so I grew up a Husky!  When I didn’t get into the nursing program as a freshman, I went to another University with the plan to re-apply to UConn’s nursing program as a sophomore. I was drawn to its rich research and innovation environment. I knew that I wanted to get involved with research, especially nursing research and UConn’s program offered that just that!

What’s your major and why did you choose it?  What are your plans after graduation?
I’m a nursing major! I was first introduced to the nursing profession as a child when I was patient at Connecticut Children’s. The nurses were so nurturing and kind, from then on I knew that I wanted to have that impact on a family and their child one day. I’m thrilled to say that I’ve accepted a nursing position at Connecticut Children’s NICU at UConn Health! This was such a full circle moment for me, from Connecticut Children’s patient to nurse (and I get to stay a Husky!).

What activities were you involved with as a student?
I’ve been involved with a lot of different activities during my time at UConn. I’ve been really involved in research and innovation in the School of Nursing. For my honors project, I investigated if pain/stressors that preterm infants experience in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) impact neurobehavioral outcomes in one sex infant more than the other. I was also a member of ReduSeal, a student-led team that worked to advance a patent-pending product that would limit glove waste in the health care market. One of my favorite activities that I did was volunteer with the School of Nursing to administer COVID-19 vaccines to UConn Health employees!

Along with that, I’m a HuskyTHON special events and volunteer captain and the vice president of the Student Nurses Association. During my junior year, I lived at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic and like everybody else, got bored. I was an all-star cheerleader growing up and decided to start tumbling again to take my mind off everything happening in the world. I decided to try out and made the UConn Cheerleading team for my senior year.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter in life?
I’m so thankful that the nursing program exposes its students to different types of nursing, including those that are not direct patient care. This gave me the confidence to pursue different avenues that aren’t typical for nursing. Not only will this make me a more well-rounded nurse, but it gives me options to pursue later if I want to. From research to traveling to Washington, D.C., for an internship on health policy, the nursing program has supported all my crazy ventures!

What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
Even though there are thousands of students on campus, UConn still feels like a tight-knit community.

What’s one thing every student should do during their time at UConn?
Go to a basketball game!