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Life is full of ups and downs. Joys and sorrows. The joys are more joyful with people to share them with. The sorrows are easier to bear when people are there to share the burden. Francesca Stedwill, a senior at Benedictine College for Peoria, Illinois, chose her field of study in to be there for people during those highs and lows.
“I love that nursing allows me to care for people in their most vulnerable moments. Nursing gives me the opportunity to walk with patients at both the most difficult and beautiful moments of their lives.”
The Benedictine College Department of Nursing emphasizes not only evidence-based, hands-on learning, but it strives also to focus on person-centered, ethical, holistic, compassionate, safe and effective care.
Home to the Nursing Department, the Mother Teresa Nursing Center was dedicated in 2016. The 12,000 square-foot facility includes two large classrooms, a clinical skills lab, a high-fidelity simulation room, seven faculty offices, additional administrative offices, an area for practicing clinical assessment skills, and several computer labs and study areas for students.
“I chose Benedictine because I believed it would not only help me accomplish my dream of becoming a nurse, but also would help me grow to be the best person I could be.”
Though nursing students’ schedules are already busy, Stedwill has made time to stay involved and find extra opportunities for growth. She is a Gregorian Fellow, a Student Worker in the President’s Office, she’s gone on multiple international mission trips, studied abroad, and is a member of the Benedictine College Student Nursing Association.
“Benedictine is special because it allows you to be surrounded by people who are striving for greatness in all aspects of life. The environment at Benedictine pushes you to be the best version of yourself and allows you to grow in faith through your academic journey.”
Benedictine College was founded with that call to holiness and greatness in mind. “Forward, always forward, everywhere forward” said Archabbot Boniface Wimmer O.S.B. “We must not be held back by debts, bad years or by difficulties of the times. Man’s adversity is God’s opportunity.”
It was these words that led monks to the American frontier in 1856 with the intent to found and Abbey and school. It is those same words that continue to inspire Benedictine College’s mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.
Stedwill is living out that always forward vision in her own life, and she encourages others to do the same.
“Be open to where the Lord is leading you and pay attention to what is being placed right in front of you.”