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Pioneer: Vickey Chrisman, Alumna, Instructor

VCVickey Chrisman has always wanted to be a nurse.

Growing up in Harrison County, she and her brother and sister were highly involved in 4-H, which began Vickey's ability to handle big responsibility.

“When I was a teenager my grandma and I would talk about me being a nurse. When she passed away it made me have a stronger conviction to do it because it’s something we dreamed about together,” Vickey says.

Vickey attended Aultman Hospital School of Nursing has worked at Aultman her entire career, minus several years to raise a family. She came to Malone to finish her BSN - then earned her MSN as well.

She also discovered a passion for teaching: her 30-plus years of experience are imparted to others to help new nurses cope with the reality of the demanding career.

“I try to help my students understand that it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to care, and we have to find a place to put that so that we can go on and care for the next patient," Vickey says. "There’s too many things that happen for new nurses to not have a mentor.”

Vickey still practices full-time nursing in the cardiology unit at Aultman, only now as an advanced practice nurse.  In addition, she teaches some evening classes at Malone. Several years ago she moved back to her hometown of 60 miles away, and commutes daily.  Living in the small rural town she grew up in with her family and being a nurse is just a part of the way she lives out her faith.

“If you have a strong faith you can see it in every aspect of nursing, from patient care and compassion to the ability to care for a stranger in their most difficult time.” she says.

Helping the people in her community is a daily reminder of the importance of having a nurse you trust.

She often tells people to come to Malone for nursing if they are considering it. She says it’s a great profession with so many opportunities and a dependable, stable job.

“It takes a lot from you, but I couldn’t think of doing anything else," Vickey says.