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Tonya Grimsley

Tonya Grimsley

Before attending Herzing, I had worked in the emergency room at my local hospital for many years. Throughout this time, I slowly began to realize that my interactions with patients were not allowing me to care for them as intimately as I would have liked. Watching their lives be touched and changed by the clinical staff inspired me to join their team, and that’s how my journey began.

After witnessing quite a few Herzing students and professors working at my hospital, I knew that I wanted to attend the school. I remember being in awe at how professional and skilled they all were. They had such a passion for what they were doing and seemed so well-prepared and supported. Ultimately, I decided to apply so that I could learn those skills as well.

Despite how eager I was to learn, I always worried whether I would be as good of a nurse as I aspired to be. I started later in life and had many odds against me. Thankfully, my program helped resolve those worries! During my studies, I gained plenty of experience while realizing that I was more capable than I gave myself credit for.

Working toward my degree wasn’t always easy, and some challenges came up along the way. The biggest one was that I was a mother of two while juggling school and full-time work. Thanks to the support system I had at home, incredibly supportive instructors and Herzing staff, I was able to overcome this hurdle.

When thinking of who supported me throughout my journey, I have so many people that come to mind. Two stand out in particular: my Clinical Coordinator Jolanda Smith and Professor Inzirillo.

From the beginning of my program to the very end, Jolanda was an ally. She oversaw the clinical portion of the nursing program while making sure we were assigned to a location and ready to go. I could call on her for anything, and if she didn’t have the answer, she would always find one. She always followed up, always made me feel that my concerns were valid and always made me feel secure and cared for as a student. I am eternally thankful to her for that!

Professor Inzirillo was so much more than a Professor to me. He was a mentor, a friend and an example that I could follow. He always listened, provided honest advice and was a huge impact on my ability to find success. I specifically remember one night that I was feeling unsure and defeated. That evening, he called to tell me that I would be a great nurse and find the success I desired. I still listen to that message from time to time, and he was right: I did succeed.

When it comes to finding that success, I would say that all my courses were invaluable. They prepared me for my career with informative and understandable lectures that were impactful. The program has a good balance of teaching and support, while also being fast-paced enough to get you finished quickly.

My practicum clinical course stands out as a highlight since it gave me the ability to work alongside my preceptor in hands-on patient care. I felt more confident with each clinical day, and I learned so much from real experience quickly. I’ve been offered a position at the location where I completed my practicum, which is very exciting!

My advice for students is to follow their hearts and always believe in themselves. No matter the challenges you face, or the doubts that you may have, go for it. Follow your dreams and pursue them. Herzing will get you there as a united family dedicated to each student's success.

At Herzing, you can feel the difference between being just another student and being a part of the Herzing family. If I had to do it all over again, I would choose Herzing every time!

Tonya Grimsley
Tonya Grimsley

Nursing Student

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