By Katie Kather
Gutierrez and her husband in 2011
Karen Gutierrez, of Naperville, is grateful for her experience at Aurora University. Gutierrez earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from AU in 2008. She was offered a job immediately after graduating from AU at Advocate Christ Hospital where she spent almost two years. She now works as a Registered Nurse for the medical/surgical department of Edward Hospital.
“Academically speaking, I felt really prepared. AU provided me with a really solid knowledge base, but we didn’t get as much practical experience as I would have liked” Gutierrez stated. Gutierrez has seen students from several nursing programs get clinical experience at Edward and can see that her education at AU stands out.
According to Gutierrez, many programs lean more toward practical knowledge, which nurses can gain later in the field. What makes AU different is their focus on thoroughly educating their nursing students from an academic standpoint. “When you’re in the heat of the moment, you draw on that knowledge base to help you do more critical thinking so you can take better care of your patients” said Gutierrez.
Nursing is tough. As Gutierrez put it, “nurses are known to eat their young.” Although intimidated initially, Gutierrez knew she would be okay. “I knew I would be successful because I had this great foundation at AU.”
Gutierrez is married with a 4-month-old baby and says that getting a BSN from AU and being a registered nurse has given her the opportunity to enjoy what she calls “this small little life I have.” If she could tell students one thing it would be to do their best no matter what. “Think of nursing school as your full time job and always keep your cool. Don’t let anxiety get the best of you when it comes to taking a test or doing a clinical” said Gutierrez.