Major: Associate in General Studies
Holly Greenwell has very specific educational goals for herself: to become a nurse practitioner, to graduate from college as debt-free as possible, and to be an honors student at College of DuPage.
So far, she’s meeting those goals in impressive fashion. As a Presidential Scholar at College of DuPage, she received a full-tuition scholarship and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society while completing her Associate in General Studies in less than two years.
Due to her accomplishments, including a 3.949 cumulative GPA, Greenwell received the College of DuPage Honors Transfer Scholarship awarded by Elmhurst College. This full-tuition scholarship paid for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
“I needed to maintain a minimum of a 3.25 GPA in order to keep the scholarship, and I wanted to maintain a high GPA at Elmhurst so that I could graduate with the highest honors,” she said.
She completed those goals as well, graduating magna cum laude and from the honors program. While at Elmhurst, she also was president of the Student Nurses Association.
Greenwell, who loves watching surgery and medical shows on TV, selected nursing because she enjoys helping people. Anatomy was one of her favorite classes in high school, and her interest in nursing grew even more through her volunteer work at the York Community Resource Center, the CNS Home Health and Hospice, LifeSource, and Central DuPage Hospital. She also worked at the Meadows Retirement Home.
After earning her bachelor’s degree, Greenwell accepted a job at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where she works on the general medicine and hospice floor. She currently is precepting/training new nurses on her floor and has joined two committees to improve practices: Coordinating Council, which examines the concerns/retention/improvements of her unit as a whole, and Skin Savers, which looks at best practices of preventing/treating ulcers, wounds and other skin alterations.
Greenwell is also studying to become a Certified Medical/Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN). While she still wants to pursue an MSN or a Ph.D., her experience at Mayo has shifted her goals.
“Instead of being a nurse practitioner, I want to go back on the education side or possibly nursing research,” she said. “I also am considering using the degree to be a Nursing Education Specialist (NES) in a hospital setting which involves updating nurses on new evidence-based practice for the best patient care.”
Greenwell encourages others to check out College of DuPage. With its top reputation nationally, COD offers an abundance of transfer programs and opportunities available on campus, whether it's classes or clubs.
“Students should look at the future and think about how much debt or loans they might have to pay off, because College of DuPage is a great school where students can get a fantastic education for an unbeatable price,” she said.
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