Alexandria Ruddy ’18 got plenty of leadership experience as president of Adelphi's Student Nurses Association. Now she's emerging as a leader in her nursing unit.
Just 12 days after passing her nurses’ licensing exam, and less than a month after her Adelphi graduation, Alexandria Ruddy ’18 accepted a job offer from St. Francis Hospital, a leading cardiac center located in Roslyn, New York.
Ruddy, who graduated from Adelphi in May 2018, is a registered nurse in the medical-surgical telemetry unit at St. Francis, working with cardiac patients pre- and postsurgery. She applied for the position after completing one of her clinical rotations at St. Francis as a student.
That training, along with foundational coursework and leadership opportunities at Adelphi, prepared her for her career and rapid rise as a mentor for new nurses.
Ruddy is just one of many 2018 graduates who are finding early career success. A recent survey found that 95 percent of that class had jobs or were in grad school within six months of graduation. Their average base salary is 25 percent higher than that of their peers nationally.
In her internship at St. Francis, Ruddy and another student shadowed a nurse on the job. “These experiences really give you a good perspective of day-to-day responsibilities and everything the nurse has to balance,” Ruddy said. “You can learn a lot from a textbook, but it’s the hands-on experience that helps you grow.”
As a senior, Ruddy was president of the Adelphi University Student Nurses Association (AUSNA). She organized many special events for Adelphi nursing students, including a panel discussion featuring alumni and another with Navy nurses. She also brought breast cancer survivors to campus for a talk with AUSNA members, raising more than $2,000 for the Adelphi NY Statewide Breast Cancer Hotline & Support Program in the process.
Ruddy won an Outstanding President Award at the Brown and Gold Awards Ceremony for her work, as well as the American Nurses’ Association Future Nurse Leader Award upon graduating.
“My experience with AUSNA made me more outgoing and comfortable speaking up,” Ruddy said. “Being a nurse, that’s very important because you have to be able to speak to family members, doctors, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and management.”
In the summer before her senior year, Ruddy completed an externship at South Nassau Communities Hospital. She worked with nurses in the pediatrics unit, but also learned about other units, including emergency care, labor and delivery, and the neonatal intensive care unit.
Ruddy was also part of the first class to use Adelphi’s Nexus Building, a center of learning and collaboration for nursing students. Having opened in 2016, the 100,000-square-foot building includes a state-of-the-art simulation lab, where nursing students practiced using manikins as patients.
“The simulation lab made me much more confident and comfortable in my clinical experiences,” Ruddy said. “All of the new technology we had there helped me act out real-world situations in a safe environment with my classmates and professors.”
With more than a year of experience at St. Francis under her belt, Ruddy looks forward to training for her certification in medical-surgical registered nursing. She was also picked by her nurse manager to facilitate a support group for new nurses. They hold monthly meetings for nurses to ask questions and receive advice, “even if it’s just about payroll or how to speak to a doctor,” Ruddy explained.
“Through being president of AUSNA, I was able to make connections with students and staff members who served as great mentors to me,” she adds. “Now I can be a mentor to new nurses on my floor.”
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