Whether you graduated 50 years ago or 5 years ago, you probably have some special memories from your time in Madonna’s Nursing program. As we reflect on our 60 years of educating nurses, we’d love to hear from you. How did your Madonna experience and education affect your life and prepare you for your career? What do you remember most?
Here are some stories that alumni have shared. If you’d like to share your story on the website, please submit the nursing stories questionnaire. We hope to share more memories at the event on February 25.
My fondest memory was living in the dorm [where] we would have a Senior Will and Skit night every spring prior to graduation. The floor that the seniors lived on would have a skit that would roast the seniors (all in good taste, of course) and the seniors would "will" to specific floor members specific items (also in good taste). It was a fun way to send the seniors off into the world.
My friend, Dina Lamerato Faucher, influenced me the most during my time at Madonna. We were roommates for two years, fellow residential assistances for one year. She was a year ahead of me in nursing and advised me on process papers, caring for patients and the world in general. I did have some wonderful clinical instructors that each had a unique personalities, skills and outlooks on life — Ester Bay, Louise Jazinski and Peggy Schinkel, to name a few.
I am glad I graduated from Madonna. I think it was a great program.
Madonna prepared me for my career by providing me with opportunities to work in different hospital settings in a wide variety of hospitals. I had all the knowledge I needed to transition into a full-time nurse upon graduation.
My fondest memories of my time at Madonna are the Felician Sisters [and] the lasting friendships that were developed, as well as being asked to be on the Foundation Board and then the Board.
Some of the most influential people for me were Dr. Connie and Sr. Rose Marie.
I am proud that I completed these two degrees, which provided me the opportunity to pursue leadership positions within the Trinity Health Care System and United States Military.
My fondest memories of my time at Madonna are meeting different people from other cities, the capping and pinning ceremonies, the ring ceremony, senior honors, and being a sponsor for a freshman nursing student.
Sr. Humilitas, Sr. Louanne and Sr. Michaelette were the most influential people I interacted with during my time at Madonna. They were very helpful, kind, caring and compassionate.
As a graduate of Madonna’s Nursing Program, I feel I received an excellent education and preparation to provide high quality and professional health care in all aspects of my nursing career.
I think the nursing courses and the general courses (theology, philosophy, art and music appreciation, etc.) contributed to my being a more well-rounded person with an appreciation for Christian values. It also helped to prepare me for my service in the Air Force by being more confident in myself and in my skills.
I remember the first few months living in the Mother House, as the dorms were not completed and ready for occupancy. I have so many good memories of my fellow classmates and my roommate with whom I have lost contact. The sisters were wonderful but strict and actually tolerated our nonsense. I remember a winter snowstorm that prevented hospital staff from getting to St. Mary's and they sent a van to the dorms and loaded up us nursing students to staff the hospital that day. Quite the experience.
The sisters all impacted me in some way. I remember Sr. Joela (chemistry), who helped me catch up on my hours for class, as I missed a semester due to mono. She was tiny in stature but mighty in the classroom. May she rest in peace.
The nursing profession opened many doors for me over my 54-year career as a nurse, from general staff nursing, nurse educator, consulting in long-term care, assistant director of nursing, teaching high school and college levels. A great profession.
Madonna’s program was fairly new and I think it gave me the basic nursing foundations, but my real education was when I started working in the field.
My fondest memory is my clinical rotation for the NP program with Betty Dornbrook at Detroit’s Healthcare for the Homeless and Operation Get Down. It strengthened my assessment skills and really demonstrated the importance of understanding the Social Determinants of Health and its impact on an individual.
I have to say Sr. Rose Marie was the most influential person I interacted with. She was such a great leader and knew me and so many others by name. Even years after I graduated, she remembered me. Approximately a decade after I graduated with my MSN, she came up to me at an event outside of the university and said hi. It reinforced to me her commitment to the students at Madonna University.
The programs taught me the importance of understanding the community impact on individual health. I still do informal “windshield surveys” each time I stay in or drive through a new town.
My fondest memory at Madonna is the time I spent in the nursing simulation lab, both as a student and as a lab assistant. I enjoyed the hands-on learning environment and, as I progressed through the program, the opportunity to offer assistance to students who were just starting out on their nursing journeys.
Jaclyn Fontaine was the most influential person from my time at Madonna. Her message, “Don’t phone it in” has stuck with me each day and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from her.
I look back on my time at Madonna fondly. The nursing program truly is a community of students that are committed to be the best nurses they can be and to help each other as they strive to achieve that goal.
Madonna’s nursing program emphasized a knowledge of pathophysiology which made me a better nurse. My full comprehension of the nature of my patient’s condition allows me to explain to him or her what is happening in a way that is easy to understand.
My fondest memory is a collective remembrance: esteemed faculty, supportive Felician Sisters, and dozens of nursing students, all working toward the same mission of preparing us for the career of nursing and the outstanding care to our patients.
It is hard to identify the single most influential person during my four years at Madonna. The faculty that most impacted me were Sr. Dennis, Sr. Dena, Sharon Gennick, Judy Coates, Sr. Cecelia, Sr. Martina. The Sisters that supported me outside of faculty were Sr. Catherine and Sr. Lauritania. My fondest student memories are of the 'commuter lounge' group of Debbie Roman, Mary Ann Graye, Kathy Miszkowski, Kathy Fulkerson, and Janice Loughran. And my best friend for life, Cynde Aughton.
Madonna's Nursing Program was comprehensively excellent. Aside from my nursing career, it prepared me to be an effective communicator, an informed appreciator of cultures other than my own, and a servant dedicated to Christian healthcare. The Nursing Program not only prepared me to care for all types of patients but to understand the sciences behind healthcare. The program also fostered in me a desire for interprofessional collaboration for team decision-making. Madonna was the best school for me.
I am retired now but spent 30 years as a perioperative nurse and eventually became a healthcare executive for Trinity Health leading national clinical teams whose mission was to improve the quality of care and patient experience.