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Ryan Rutano
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Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in music-voice

Hometown: Clark, New Jersey

 What was the best part of your experience as a student at Caldwell University?

One of the best experiences I had was finally completing my nursing school journey.  Going to clinicals, practicing nursing skills in the labs and attending these informative lectures  fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a nurse, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has given students hardships. Experiencing the pandemic has not made me a less competent nurse but rather a nurse who is resilient to change and hardship. I cannot wait to grow as a nurse and make a difference in our community.

Where are you headed now?

I’m eager to work in the emergency department. I thrive in high pressure situations and I cannot wait to face this new challenge head on! In the ER there are many people that go through the department. It’s not just limited to one patient population. Everyone from children to the elderly can be my patient. I hope that an experience in the ER can make me more of a well-rounded and more prepared nurse.

Life lessons learned at Caldwell?

Looking back on my four years at Caldwell, many life lessons were given to me. The lesson that has impacted me the most is the importance of community. This pandemic has taught me that sometimes we take people’s presence for granted. Now coming out of the pandemic I hug my friends tighter and appreciate even the smallest moments I spend with friends and loved ones. I gained my strength and through my support system of my friends, my club and my family.

Who helped you get here that you want to thank?

The people who have helped me get to this point in my life are my family. They have supported me with their love and have instilled in me a work ethic and drive to make the most out of my education. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Rhodes (assistant professor in nursing) for being a mentor to me during my undergraduate career. She has taught me many life lessons both in my nursing career and personal life and has inspired me to be the type of nurse who has compassion and care for their patients.

Favorite spot on Caldwell’s campus?

My favorite spot on campus was definitely the residence halls. This is where I met my friends through events and made many memories eating meals together or having all-nighters in the lounge to finish an assignment. The residence halls have given me friends that will last a lifetime no matter how far we go from Caldwell University.

Other highlights of your time at Caldwell?

One of my highlights of my time at Caldwell was creating the NOVA K-POP Club in the fall of 2019. After three years I am now handing over my presidency to the next person, who will continue the tradition of outstanding performances. The club members and I were able to build a reputation of entertainment in and outside of the campus. We perform at events, open houses and holiday events. We have built a social media platform and post fun and new content every week!  I will cherish the memories I have built by performing with my friends forever. Lastly, I encourage them to “follow the stars” and the possibilities will be endless for this ambitious club.

Anything else?

I’m the first student to complete my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing while also completing a music minor focused in voice. The nursing and music curriculums are some of the hardest programs we have on campus. I was only able to succeed in doing so due to my professors and instructors, who have helped me develop in my nursing career and as a musician. Being able to keep involved in both sides of my life—science and arts—has given me so much satisfaction and connections that I value deeply.