A New Jersey native, Emma Max came to Villanova to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the College of Nursing. It runs in her blood; “My mother is a cardiology nurse practitioner,” she told me in a recent conversation. She credits Meredith MacKenzie, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CNE, of the College of Nursing with helping her make the best of these opportunities. We had the chance to talk about 21st century nursing perspectives, her future plans, and even relationships as well. See excerpts of the conversation below.
William Repetto: Tell me about your project.
Emma Max: My project is “Just in KASE,” which is evaluating nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy towards caring for a dying patient… It was a quantitative study and a comparative study.
WR: What makes this work important in the 21st century?
EM: We have a dearth of information in regard to end of life care. We have hospice and palliative nursing; we have hospice and palliative care physicians, and that’s all well and good, but as nursing students, we aren’t getting very much education in it. The two facts of life are that everybody is born and everybody dies. We got the first part covered; we still have issues, but it’s the end of life. As a western society, we don’t like to poke and prod at that. It’s uncomfortable for a lot of people – understandably so.
WR: What’s your favorite part of this work?
EM: I love writing. If I wasn’t a nursing major, I would have gone into English, but I definitely think that the results were the most interesting and the most aggravating part because we’d sit there and they would come in a slow trickle and then a wave would come in every time we sent an email.
WR: What attracted you to Villanova to do this kind of work?
EM: The nursing school, they start pretty early. Most places don’t start you until junior year, but we hit the ground running. I think my first or second semester was intro to nursing, and it was everything: Where do nurses come from? Why do we do what we do? What do the letters after your name mean?
WR: Has the Falvey been instrumental in your Villanova experience?
EM: I spend a lot of time here in the Falvey. My boyfriend and I started going out my sophomore year, and we used to spend all our time together in Falvey. I mean first floor, sitting there, club 24, we would be sitting in the 24-hour lounge, whether it was goofing off or actually doing homework. This library is where my relationship started, so obviously it has a place in my heart. I still spend a lot of time here, especially now that they redid Old Falvey.
WR: What are your plans after graduation? Will you continue researching or go directly to work?
EM: There are these things called nurse residency programs, much like physicians go through their residency programs… It’s in Christiana Care Hospital down in Delaware. It’s a huge academic hospital, which is lovely. I’m in their critical care nursing residency program. It’s awesome; it’s 11 people and me. I do that for about six months, and then I work there for two years, and then I see where life takes me.
Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.
Photographs by Kallie Stahl and Alice Bampton, Communication and Marketing Dept.
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