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Issue Date: June 2009


Jackie DeCapite

School of Nursing, Cleveland State University
Francis X. Bova III
Jackie DeCapite knows firsthand how good health care can impact an entire family. Her sister, Kelly, had three liver transplants when she was younger. “I saw what a difference a good nurse can have on a family during our hospital stays,” DeCapite says, and the frequent hospital visits during her youth sparked an early interest in a nursing career.

After graduating from North Ridgeville High School in 2003, DeCapite took the first steps toward that goal at Lorain County Community College. “I was really looking for something where I could help people for a living,” she says. But she also knew she wanted to end up in a four-year program.

So DeCapite, a GCNA Graduating Senior Award recipient, transferred to Cleveland State University. “I chose CSU because it was affordable, close to home, had a good reputation and did not have a waiting list,” DeCapite says.

It paid off: She will earn her bachelor’s in nursing and was even able to gain experience before graduation by working as a nurse tech at St. John West Shore Hospital.

The nursing school experience can have its ups and downs, though. DeCapite finished her prerequisite classes before enrolling at CSU. That saved time and money, but what followed were three straight years of strictly core nursing classes and trips with faculty to clinical sites for hands-on (but unpaid) experience.

“Nursing is a very difficult career,” DeCapite says. “You’re always on your feet and very busy every day. It’s a career that doesn’t allow for errors, and you have to be very good at prioritization and multitasking.”

After DeCapite’s experience growing up, she knows the significance of the job. “It helps me realize that this is the path I need to be on,” DeCapite says. “I am doing well, and I am where I am supposed to be in life.”

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