As a student in Niagara University’s College of Nursing, Timothy Hinsken, ’23, learned that it was important to consider the emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of a patient, in addition to their physical health, when providing care.
“At NU, our Vincentian values and the staff within the College of Nursing emphasized that a patient is more than just an illness—there’s a whole family, a whole story, about why they’re there,” he said. “They taught us to look at the bigger picture to provide the best care possible. That lets us be more compassionate and caring when we’re interacting with our patients to provide them with the best experience.”
Today, the Alden, N.Y., native uses this holistic approach in his work as a registered nurse in the Vizient/American Association of Colleges of Nursing Nurse Residency Program at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. He selected Georgetown because his grandmother, who was his inspiration to pursue a career in nursing, had worked there. The yearlong residency program is designed to support new nurses’ transition from student to professional through monthly seminars and learning activities.
Hinsken notes that the academic and clinical preparation he received during his studies in the College of Nursing put him “a step above” many of his peers in the residency program. For example, he was able to assist others during a class on intravenous therapy and phlebotomy.
“At NU, I had lots of practice in the skills lab and in clinical practice, and I had an internship, so I had a lot of experience,” he said. “This was very much second-nature for me.”
The relationships he established with his professors are also a unique aspect of NU’s nursing program, he said.
“The faculty and the staff are the ones who are there with us every step of the way, helping us in whatever way they can,” he said. “I became very friendly and close with a lot of my professors and instructors, and I feel that’s something that’s a little special at NU.”
Hinsken is considering becoming a professor himself, one day, but for the time being, he is happy to provide bedside care for the patients on Georgetown’s intermediate care unit.
“It’s enjoyable to provide patients support, comfort them, be a listening ear when they may feel like they’re not being listened to, and be there for them at their lowest point,” he said.