Meet our alumni: Emily Riley '12, RN, BSN

University of Rochester School of Nursing Accelerated Bachelor’s Program: BSN 2013 followed by RN credential


SLU Class of 2012

Major: Biology

Activities at SLU: Field Hockey team, Study Abroad Denmark ‘11, Biology Honors Thesis Research

Work experience: Oncology Registered Nurse (6+ years); Emily most recently practiced at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as an oncology nurse navigator providing symptom triage, care coordination, and patient teaching for the cutaneous oncology department. 


Why did you choose SLU to start your pursuit of a health career?

When shopping for colleges, I hoped to pursue a career in healthcare but at the time was uncertain which profession fit best. SLU allowed me the opportunity to discover my path and “best fit” through its diverse learning opportunities. During my four years, I was able to study abroad in a medical practice and policy program, take a wide variety of biology and liberal arts courses, participate in extracurriculars, and carry out senior research. I graduated from SLU a well-rounded student, prepared to take on an accelerated nursing program.


What SLU experience has helped you be successful in your professional program and/or current job?

I developed excellent time management and organizational skills juggling life as a biology major and collegiate athlete at SLU. I have employed these skill sets throughout my nursing career while managing difficult patient assignments and caring for the critically ill. 


What course(s) did you find most helpful in preparation for professional school academics?

Immunology! The content I learned in this course has been invaluable.


What advice do you have for students pursuing a career in your particular field?

1) Search the admission sites of accelerated nursing programs to determine the required prerequisite courses. This will allow you to plan out your school semesters and take advantage of fun opportunities (i.e. study abroad!).

2) Utilize your networks! Chat with an RN, PA, NP, or MD to identify which profession best aligns with your career goals and approach to patient wellness.

3) If you have the chance to shadow or work as a nursing aid, I would highly recommend you capitalize on this opportunity in order to preview a “day in the life” of a nurse.

4) Nursing is a profession that will open many doors. Whether your career goal is to provide direct patient care, work in the pharmaceutical or insurance industry, teach, or be an administrator, nursing makes it all possible! 


Any unique experiences so far?

At Dana-Farber, I worked in the cutaneous oncology department where we often met with patients with orphan cancers. I was able to participate in multidisciplinary round-table discussions where our team would formulate individualized treatment plans informed by cutting edge research while being mindful of patient's quality of life.