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Alumni Share Their Inspirations for Becoming Nurses

May 19, 2020

As we honor and celebrate all nurses and midwives during the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, we are sharing some short stories, advice and inspiration from CNHP alumni.

Claire Mackes in nursing scrubsClaire Mackes, MSN ’16

An accomplished nurse educator, Mackes initially became interested in nursing after volunteering at a local hospital in high school. During her program at Drexel, she connected with instructors, who were invested in her success, and encouraged her to consider becoming a nurse educator. After school and in practice, Mackes found a natural fit helping new nurses learn the critical skills needed to care for patients. Her care of patients continues in a hospital setting along with working as a nurse educator.


Stephanie Dickson, BSN ’15

Having been inspired in her younger years by the nurses at a local hospital, Dickson found an inclination and interest in science and medicine. After completing the Accelerated Career Entry BSN at Drexel, she has spent the last five years working as a critical care nurse. From Manhattan to Phoenix, Dickson has worked in some of the top intensive care unit’s across the country, caring for people in the medical, ,surgical cardiovascular, and the trauma intensive care units. “What I learned at Drexel was invaluable… . I hope to continue this journey and to keep providing the best possible care I can provide!”

Head shot of Susan TurnageSusan Turnage, RN ’72

Turnage has been a practicing nurse for 48 years. Just last year, her occupational memoir, One Nurse Universe, was published detailing her career experiences in pediatric, oncology and home health nursing, among others. Additionally, she is a certified Yoga Nurse, and specializes in teaching therapeutic yoga as stress management for fellow nurses and patients. Turnage has appeared on the” Kathy Lewis Show” on WHRO, an NPR affiliate, for the 2020 International Day of the Nurse, on May 12, which is also Florence Nightingale’s 200th Birthday.

Ashley Hur and coworker in hospital scrubsAshley Hur, BSN ’14

After researching and considering many different career opportunities prior to enrolling at Drexel, Hur found a natural connection to a career in nursing. After school, Hur’s career has led her to care at Penn Presbyterian in the surgical-ortho trauma unit as a certified nursing assistant. With a passion for care and Philadelphia, she reminds all on the front lines to make sure to get a full night of sleep.

Selfie of Lauren KalemberLauren Kalember, MSN ’17

Having a natural inclination toward teaching and education, Kalember knew during her first year working at the bedside that she was passionate about improving the work of all nurses. During her time at Drexel, Kalember saw the positive outcomes of empowering others through education. As she has seen in practice, nursing education in a hospital setting must remain adaptable and innovative in the complex healthcare environment. As a manager of nurse educators, Kalember develops systems that help implement education at an organizational level. Kalember’s pro-tip is “encouraging all nurses to intentionally reflect and study each week. We will never be done learning.”

Kelly Gabor in scrubs standing in front of a brick wall and flower bedsKelly Gabor, BSN ’18

Gabor was inspired to become a nurse after having positive and helpful interactions with nurses as a child. Taking those lessons to practice, she is now a nurse at the nationally-recognized Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Working with children is so rewarding and I love be able to put even a small smile on their faces when I can. Our CHOP nurses go above and beyond for our children and I couldn't be prouder to work there after my Drexel career. Drexel helped me in so many ways with all three co-ops at CHOP. I felt very prepared after my nursing education at Drexel.”