Spotlights

Knights in Nursing

Welcome to the college's new Knights in Nursing spotlights page. Each month the college will feature a new Knight in Nursing, telling his or her personal story and how UCF played a role.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Corrine Medeiros: Caregiver using compassion to overcome tragedy
“The Pulse tragedy was a powerful experience for me, and serves as a reminder of why I choose nursing and nursing continues to choose me. It is not simply what I do, but it is who I am.” Meet Corrine Medeiros, ’17BSN alumna, future ER nurse and caregiver using compassion to overcome tragedy.
 

Corrine Medeiros, BSN alumna, future ER nurse and caregiver using compassion to overcome Orlando Pulse tragedy.

Knights in Nursing: Corrine Medeiros

Caregiver using compassion to overcome tragedy

“The Pulse tragedy was a powerful experience for me, and serves as a reminder of why I choose nursing and nursing continues to choose me. It is not simply what I do, but it is who I am.

Being a Level One Trauma Center, we see many patients on a daily basis who are experiencing their worst day or a tragic event.  But working in the ER that night forever shaped my nursing care. Compassion has always guided my nursing, and that was magnified after the tragedy.

I grew up with a desire to help those around me – be it strangers or those I know and love. My family is filled with nurses, law enforcement officers and firefighters. It didn’t take me long to realize my passion for nursing and emergency medicine.

Being a nurse in the ER is unpredictable, constantly challenging of the mind and body, and requires you to give your entire heart and caring nature. But the camaraderie of the team and fast-paced care is something I am drawn to. It is where my heart lies.

Twenty years from now I hope to be an experienced ER nurse leader, making changes in the field and inspiring others on a large scale. I am confident that I have the tools to succeed from my education at UCF. It has paved the way for my career by providing opportunities to lead, inspire and accomplish my goals.”


Corrine Medeiros ’17BSN
Graduate Nurse, Emergency Department, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Health
Mentorship Committee Member, UCF College of Nursing Alumni Chapter Board
Historian for Sigma Theta Tau International Theta Epsilon Chapter (nursing honor society)
Former historian for Orlando Chapter of the Student Nurses Association at UCF

Corrine Medeiros: Caregiver using compassion to overcome tragedy
“The Pulse tragedy was a powerful experience for me, and serves as a reminder of why I choose nursing and nursing continues to choose me. It is not simply what I do, but it is who I am.” Meet Corrine Medeiros, ’17BSN alumna, future ER nurse and caregiver using compassion to overcome tragedy.
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Dr. Victoria LoerzelVicki Loerzel: Advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer
“How did I go from a history major to cancer nurse researcher? I chose to change my path to follow what I love, and chose to be challenged to make myself better.” Meet Vicki Loerzel, ’07PhD alumna, associate professor and advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer.
 

Vicki Loerzel, PhD alumna, associate professor and advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer.

Knights in Nursing: Vicki Loerzel

Advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer

“How did I go from a history major to cancer nurse researcher? I chose to change my path to follow what I love, and chose to be challenged to make myself better.

Soon after graduating with a history degree I realized that it wasn’t for me. I applied to nursing school and was accepted. That began my career in cancer nursing and academia. 

My first job was a bone marrow transplant nurse at Cleveland Clinic while I pursued a master’s degree in oncology nursing. The first exposure I had to research was here at UCF, working as a research nurse for a nationally funded study – and it was exciting! A nursing PhD program was just beginning, and I was in the inaugural class. In the years since joining the faculty full time after graduation, I have been appointed to an endowed professorship and awarded federally funded grants.

My research focus on improving quality of life for older adults with cancer became clear early in my career. While working on a study, I discovered older survivors behaved differently than younger survivors. They tend to minimize cancer, often doing little or nothing to manage symptoms, and are at high risk for severe side effects. But they don’t have to live like that.

My current funded study is helping get their mind ‘into the game’ of proper self-care with an innovative educational tool. I never would have thought about using technology without my colleagues’ encouragement to think outside the box.

As a nurse, we have many options and I love sharing that with students. Research is hard work, but it is never boring.”


Vicki Loerzel, ’07PhD, RN, OCN
Alumna of UCF’s first Nursing PhD cohort,
Associate Professor, UCF College of Nursing
Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Professorship in Oncology Nursing
Coordinator of nursing's Honors in the Major (HIM) program, encouraging undergraduate research

Vicki Loerzel: Advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer
Dr. Victoria Loerzel“How did I go from a history major to cancer nurse researcher? I chose to change my path to follow what I love, and chose to be challenged to make myself better.” Meet Vicki Loerzel, ’07PhD alumna, associate professor and advocate of improving life for older adults with cancer.
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Meet Martin Schiavenato, a 2007 alumnus of UCF's Nursing PhD programMartin Schiavenato: Using an orb to manage pain in babies
“I’ll never forget that baby. She lived a short life in excruciating pain. It was that encounter that inspired my research and decade-long quest to create a solution to manage pain in newborns.” Meet Martin Schiavenato, ’07PhD alumnus and champion of babies who can’t verbalize their suffering.
 

Meet Martin Schiavenato, a 2007 alumnus of UCF's Nursing PhD program

Knight in Nursing: Martin Schiavenato

Champion of premature babies who can’t verbalize their suffering

“I’ll never forget that baby. As a NICU nurse, I was accustomed to caring for preemies. She was different – full-term and appeared so beautifully healthy. Unfortunately, she suffered from a genetic disorder that rendered her skin useless and every measure of comfort hurt her. She lived a short life in excruciating pain. It was that encounter that inspired my research and decade-long quest to create a solution to assess and manage pain in newborns.

It is not easy to remain focused and single minded for more than 10 years, but there is a significant motivating force to keep me going. Prematurity is not going away, and in fact now rising in the U.S. What I’m doing needs to be done.

After initially developing an orb-type device, inspired from a polygraph to measure nervous system responses, we went back to the proverbial ‘drawing board’ to design a new way to capture facial grimacing. Our solution is a new mouth sensor that we expect to complete by August 2017, and have received funding for the first ‘human demonstration’ project or device trial in the NICU immediately after.

To help bring this and other innovations to the bedside, where they’re needed, I’m launching a startup this May to house and commercialize three of our technological developments. As a nurse scientist with a passion for technology to evolve, UCF provided an opportunity for me to learn to collaborate with computer scientists and engineers. This is something that has remained a foundation to my current research and career.”


Martin Schiavenato, ’07PhD, RN
Alumnus of the UCF’s first Nursing PhD cohort,
Associate Professor, Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing,
Affiliate Professor, WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
Founder of the future startup, “Little Foot Innovation

Martin Schiavenato: Using an orb to manage pain in babies
Meet Martin Schiavenato, a 2007 alumnus of UCF's Nursing PhD program“I’ll never forget that baby. She lived a short life in excruciating pain. It was that encounter that inspired my research and decade-long quest to create a solution to manage pain in newborns.” Meet Martin Schiavenato, ’07PhD alumnus and champion of babies who can’t verbalize their suffering.
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Shannon Hassett: Ally in the battle of managing diabetes
“When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I saw the good and the bad from many care providers. I knew that I had to become one of the good ones.” Meet Shannon Hassett, ’16BSN alumna, DNP student and ally in the battle of managing diabetes.
 

Shannon Hassett, ’16BSN alumna, DNP student and ally in the battle of managing diabetes.

Knights in Nursing: Shannon Hassett

Ally in the battle of managing diabetes

“From when I was first diagnosed with diabetes at 11 years old, I saw the good and the bad from many care providers. I knew that I had to become one of the good ones.

It was my middle school nurse who taught me about diabetes management that inspired me to pursue nursing, and it was my disease that inspired my passion within nursing. I feel that if God allowed me to have diabetes, then I was to use it for good and to help others.

I was able to begin to use my experiences to help others at UCF, where my Honors in the Major undergraduate thesis explored how technology could help adults better control their diabetes. Now as a nurse, it is the most fulfilling feeling when I am able to help my diabetic patients and have an immediate rapport with them. In the future, as an endocrinology nurse practitioner, it is my dream to become the primary care provider I would want to have.

Knowing how much I could truly help other diabetics that live the same struggles I do drives me to further my education and career. The UCF DNP program was a perfect fit. I am able to pursue my doctorate part-time while continuing to work full time, and gain valuable experience as an ER nurse. From the caliber of faculty and the vast research opportunities to the expansive clinical experiences, I have no doubt that I will be fully prepared for this future role.

I feel so blessed as I am fulfilling my dreams of changing the diabetes care world, one patient at a time.”


Shannon Hassett ’16BSN, RN
Emergency Department Nurse, Orlando Regional Medical Center, Orlando Health
DNP student, UCF College of Nursing, Class of 2021
Philanthropy chair, UCF College of Nursing Alumni Chapter Board

Shannon Hassett: Ally in the battle of managing diabetes
“When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I saw the good and the bad from many care providers. I knew that I had to become one of the good ones.” Meet Shannon Hassett, ’16BSN alumna, DNP student and ally in the battle of managing diabetes.
Read more...