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Issue Date: June 2009

Jennifer Biro

Breen School of Nursing, Ursuline College
Nina Polien Light
Jennifer Biro is destined to be that nurse whom patients and their families will always remember, even years after a prolonged hospital stay.

“You look at your own values and try to take care of [patients] the best you can,” says the 22-year-old GCNA Graduating Senior Award winner. “You don’t just look at them as a diagnosis with physical needs, but you look at them emotionally and spiritually.”

The Highland Heights resident, who is graduating from Ursuline College with a bachelor’s in nursing, will bring her holistic approach to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital this summer, when she starts working in the pediatric oncology unit. Biro says that while she’s grateful for the opportunity to help gravely ill children, she’s cognizant of the challenges.

“I have a problem working with patients and not getting too emotionally involved,” she admits. “I have to try not to take it home with me. [But] I know that I’m doing the right thing.”

Biro’s interest in nursing was sparked in high school after shadowing a nurse as a part of a research project. An active member of student council and a participant in Harvest for Hunger drives, Biro thought nursing fit with her friendly and helpful nature.

So she selected Breen for its strong academics, small class size and many civic opportunities — she served as vice president of Student Nurses of Ursuline College, chair of a campus blood drive and volunteer with the MedWish organization, breast cancer research fundraisers and voter registration.

“It’s challenging,” Biro says of Breen’s nursing program. She hopes to continue her education with a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. “But it’s very rewarding. You come out feeling like a professional nurse."

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