Amanda Munson, East Longmeadow, Mass.
Bachelor of Arts, English. Graduated 2023
Amanda Munson of East Longmeadow transferred to Elms College for her junior year seeking a bachelor’s degree in Nursing, the step toward her goal of becoming a nurse. But the more she found out about the daily practice of nursing, the less she wanted to do it as a career.
At a loss about what to do, Amanda turned to Elms faculty for advice. This led Amanda to pivot away from nursing and pursue her true passion – writing.
The close relationships Elms faculty develop with their students were really beneficial, she said. And that has made all the difference.
“They are looking out for you. It’s just nice,” she said. “I don’t have any regrets about Elms.”
Read more of Amanda’s story
Amanda Munson from East Longmeadow, graduated in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Amanda enrolled at Elms College for her junior year, transferring from Springfield Technical Community College, intending to earn her degree in nursing.
“When the pandemic hit, I had to figure out what I wanted to do, so I started looking at the Elms nursing program. My dad is a physician assistant, and I know a lot of people in health care. I felt this is what I was meant to do,” she said.
But when it came time for her first clinical trials, where nursing students go into the field to put into practice what they’ve learned in the classroom, Amanda realized for the first time that the actual practice of nursing was simply not for her.
“I did my first clinical and said ‘I can’t do this!’ Amanda recalled.
She realized there was a massive difference between the study of nursing and its actual practice – and she did not feel she was necessarily geared to do the latter.
“I hate saying this but I had a ‘Gray’s Anatomy’ perspective of what nursing was. And when we started clinicals, and I was giving medicine to patients and changing bandages and documenting things, I was going ‘what is this?’” she said. “And the senior nurses were saying “This is what nursing is.”
Unsure what to do next, she met with her faculty advisor, Dan Chelotti, who assured her it was okay. If nursing was not right for her, he was willing to work with her to find what was right.
“And that is when we decided I should take the English major route. I always loved English and loved writing,” she said. “Everyone says ‘Why would you leave a high-paying field of work like nursing?’ But I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t like it, and I was lucky enough to have other options.”
At Elms, she became involved with Bloom, the college literary magazine. And she landed an internship teaching poetry and creative writing with the Holyoke Care Center, a nonprofit that helps teen mothers earn their GEDs and even prepare for college.
“Through the internship, I met so many people who are writers. I met a woman whose poetry was in the New York Times. I’ve been invited to writing workshops,” she said.
“I love the editor side of writing. When I was in nursing, I liked being connected with the patient or working with peers on projects; I didn’t like the other parts,” she said.
“Working with people makes me happy because I’m a people person (and) the internship and working with Bloom taught me that I really like working with people editing papers,” she said.
“It’s killing two birds with one stone; I have the people aspect and also the editor aspect.”
She said her Elms College experience has helped her see what she wanted to do as a career, and it allowed her the room to explore and make connections. It was unlike any other school she ever attended. At Elms, she felt her faculty not only knew who she was but also had her best interests at heart. In her final semester, Chelotti was continually checking in to see what her plans were after graduation.
“They are looking out for you. It’s just nice,” she said.
“I don’t have have any regrets about Elms.”
As the days roll on
and the temperature slightly
lifts above freezing,
covered pine cones cracked through melted
the sun and flying birds share
an effervescent moment
amidst the clouds.
As she looks around to what peaks behind
leaves capturing the slim glint of beauty
from brittle bark to patchy trails
the sheer silence seizing her
bottle green grass
the vernal equinox restoring life
within a blink of an eye.
As each season she regenerates
thriving in nature,
using each moment to take on
what’s been waiting.
And as she looks down
at the top of the dome
a smirk begins to form
marking the beginning.
Regrowth begins with
a bunny hopping away
crows perched on twisted electric wires cawing
with time ticking forward.
The calm has always been there,
to take her next
As the Days Roll On by Amanda Munson, reprinted from Bloom, Elms College’s literary magazine.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN):
This is a traditional four-year undergraduate nursing program that prepares students to become registered nurses (RNs).
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Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN): This program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and want to pursue a career in nursing. It typically takes about 12-18 months to complete.
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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Elms College may offer various MSN programs with different specializations such as Nurse Practitioner (NP), Nurse Educator, or Nurse Administrator.
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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): A DNP program is typically for advanced practice nurses who want to gain expertise in clinical practice, leadership, and healthcare systems.
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English majors value the beauty of language and the power of words. They excel at writing and literary analysis, but also communication, public speaking, research, and critical thinking. As an English major at Elms College, you will acquire a set of skills much in demand by many employers. Learn more >
Humanities and Fine Arts
Studying the Humanities at Elms College exposes you to literature, poetry, film, painting, music, and religion and the role each plays in shaping modern culture. You will learn to critically examine written works, historic artifacts, visual images, and musical compositions, and to interpret their meaning to a larger audience. Humanities majors develop writing and speaking skills adaptable in many industries.
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Every student at Elms is assigned a faculty advisor. Your advisor plays an important role in your academic success and is there to provide you with information you will need about requirements for your major, working toward your degree, and for advice and support. Learn more >
Center for Student Success
The Center for Student Success is your one-stop hub for academic support services. It has collaborative learning spaces for group work and private study cubes for solo work. There is also assistance with academic advising, tutoring, student accommodations, career services, and more. Learn More >
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