"The friends and connections I made through Adelphi’s nursing program helped provide a launching pad for my nursing career."
Registered Nurse, Sole Proprietor and Manager of Isle of Pines, LLC
Sheila LaRosa heard about Adelphi University’s nursing program while working in the emergency room and intensive care unit at St. Francis Hospital in Port Washington, New York. “I had a nursing license,” says Ms. LaRosa, “but I wanted to go to college.”
Ms. LaRosa decided to pursue her baccalaureate degree, and began taking classes two days a week at Adelphi, while continuing to work full time at St. Francis. She was one of three sisters, all of whom chose nursing as a profession. “My sister, Eileen Beecroft, and I graduated from Adelphi together, and my youngest sister, Monica Crowley, graduated from the nursing program at New York University.” Ms. LaRosa graduated from Adelphi’s School of Nursing in 1981.
“Receiving my degree boosted my self-esteem,” she says. “It gave me the confidence I needed to be successful.”
After graduating from Adelphi, Ms. LaRosa continued working at St. Francis, where she met her husband William, a resident. In 1982, the couple moved to New Orleans, where William would be completing his chief residency. While living in Louisiana, Ms. LaRosa supported her family through agency nursing, working in intensive care units and emergency rooms.
Ms. LaRosa especially enjoyed being in the general hospital setting. “Every day was different,” she recalls. “There was never a boring day.” Throughout her nursing career, Ms. LaRosa was adamant about patient care, which she attributes to her learning experience at Adelphi. “As a nurse there may be a lot going on, but you have to remember that a patient is never just a number or a bed,” says Ms. LaRosa. “You must never forget that you are treating a person.”
Ms. LaRosa and her family eventually relocated to Florida. Although she retired from nursing in 1985, the skills Ms. LaRosa obtained through her Adelphi education and nursing career translated well into her next career: real estate. Today she is proprietor and sole manager of her own real estate company, Isle of Pines, LLC.
While nursing was a specialty she shared among her three sisters, Ms. LaRosa learned much about real estate from her father, who owned and rented storefront buildings and residencies when she was growing up. At a young age, Ms. LaRosa was involved in property management and building maintenance, as she would often go along with her father to work.
Ms. LaRosa and her husband have been happily married for 25 years; they have two grown children, and four quirky pet cats. When she is not busy running her rental properties, Ms. LaRosa enjoys traveling and any opportunity to spend time with her family.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I chose nursing because I wanted a career that allowed me to help people and feel fulfilled…something that I could be proud of.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi and your residencies?
Studying with my fellow nursing students before exams was always a lot of fun. We would get together in the library; it was such a great bonding experience.
Dr. Frederick Bettelheim was my favorite chemistry professor at Adelphi. He was always so helpful and attentive with his students. I learned more in that class than I can put into words.
The classes at Adelphi provided me with expert experience and confidence for when I found myself out in the working world. The friends and connections I made through Adelphi’s nursing program helped provide a launching pad for my nursing career.
Adelphi only affected my life in the most positive ways. It gave me the background I needed for a successful career and has continued to be a source of fond memories throughout the years.
What advice would you give to today’s nursing students?
In nursing today, there are so many specialties available, there are so many opportunities. I would encourage nurses of today to try it all, and then find your niche. The first job you get with your diploma in hand is just the beginning of endless experiences.
Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, always treat your professors with respect, and remember that if things get hard, there is always a light at the end of a dark tunnel.
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