Keiser University 2021 valedictorian Victoria Kwiatkowski recently joined the same healthcare facility she’d spent much time in as a teenager while supporting a dear friend.
“Ten years ago, I spent every second I could with my best friend while he battled leukemia at the John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, so I am beyond excited and proud that I now have the chance to care for and inspire children and their families as they did for us many years ago,” said Kwiatkowski, who will join the St. Petersburg, Florida facility as a member of its Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) team.
The academic journey leading to Kwiatkowski’s nursing profession and her honor at Keiser University’s Sarasota campus began at the University of Central Florida back in May 2018 when she earned degrees in both Biology and Health Science. Determined to achieve her goal of becoming a registered nurse, she subsequently enrolled in Keiser University’s Nursing program and credits supporters for helping her through the challenging times.
Kwiatkowski’s academic endeavors came to a culmination on February 20, 2021, when she earned her B.S. in Nursing from Keiser University at a graduation ceremony provided over by Dr. Arthur Keiser, Ph.D.
“Dr. Susan Cohen was not only my mentor throughout my first semester of nursing school, but she remained my role model throughout the entire journey, as her supportive and encouraging demeanor provided me with the confidence to pursue my love of working in newborn pediatrics. I cannot imagine what other aspect of nursing I would have chosen without her guidance, and Dr. Terri Doire was been one of the greatest cheerleaders I could have asked for, as she was the ray of sunshine and positivity, we all needed,” smiled Kwiatkowski.
The Keiser University clinical rotations provided valuable hands-on experiences as Kwiatkowski honed her skills and gained real-world insights relating to the profession, and the rigorous academic program left a lasting impact. “Professors Ming and Malloy regularly challenged my intelligence in a way that made me think less like a student and more like a nurse. Although my toughest classes were taken with them, I cannot thank them enough for pushing me to become a better student. I would not take any second of it back for the world,” she reflected.
When asked what she’d recommend to those considering a career in the field, Kwiatkowski emphasized the importance of collaboration. “If nursing is your dream, continue to work harder and never doubt your worth. Never feel bad about asking others for help, as the nursing profession is a team collaboration to ensure things get done safely and with quality,” she said. “For as long as I can remember, children have always remained the key component in my dream jobs over the years. I cannot wait to see where this journey of pediatric medicine leads me.”
The Keiser University Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is offered for students beginning their first professional nursing program. Depending on the campus, students in this program of professional nursing study may attend in either the Fall/Spring semesters only or year-round, for eight semesters. Graduates will be prepared to provide compassionate, patient-centered, culturally competent nursing care to individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations in a variety of settings, using evidence-based knowledge and skills related to wellness, health promotion, illness, disease management, and end-of-life care to improve healthcare outcomes
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and was ranked No. 5 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Reports in 2022. Keiser University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges as a level VI institution. For more information, visit www.keiseruniversity.edu.