As a young girl, Brittany Buckheit '21 had an instinct for helping people. That's why as a high school student in Port Richey, Florida, she enrolled in her school's Academy of Health, a program designed to prepare students for careers in the health field. And that instinct, which has been fine-tuned over the years, is also the reason Buckheit enrolled in the FSC Nursing program last spring.
"The way my heart feels full when I help and care for my patients is the main reason why I decided to become a nurse," Buckheit says.
She is both an adult student and transfer student at FSC. Now in her mid-twenties, she came to Farmingdale after earning an Associate's degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Suffolk County Community College, where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She didn't start college right after high school, so she is juggling a part-time job at St. Francis Hospital and her education. Farmingdale, she says, is very accommodating for someone living dual roles.
"As an adult student who didn't jump right into college after high school, Farmingdale has very compensating class schedules and open lab hours that I can utilize within my busy work/school schedule. Having a clearer view of the profession I intend to dedicate my life to, makes the work and late nights worth it."
According to her co-workers at St. Francis, Buckheit is an all-star. She recently won the hospital's Star of the Quarter award, and with that accolade upon accolade. "Our patients LOVE her," said one colleague. "Her friendly, bubbly personality makes all the patients feel welcome and at home," said another. And to top it off, this comment: "We are so lucky to have her. She truly deserves the award."
Judi Cestaro, Director of Transfer Services, is also a fan.
"We were so excited to welcome Brittney to campus. She overcame many obstacles before beginning her academic career, including an overwhelming fear of failure.
"In her application she said, 'I took my education into my own hands,' and then built a solid foundation, one class at a time. She devoted her time not just to herself and her own academic goals; she reached out to her fellow students, encouraging them and assisting in any way she could. Her compassion, coupled with her strong work ethic, will enable her to realize her dream of becoming a nurse."
Buckheit, who wants to become an oncology nurse, is attending FSC on a Stay on Long Island Initiative Scholarship, an award that is covering full tuition for two of the three years she expects to study for the BS Advance Standing program.
"Even though this degree will take me longer than I planned many years ago, I am so thankful looking back for the time I took to mature, grow, and excel within the healthcare field and in my own personal life. Farmingdale College has given me another chance to take back my future and create a profession I will be proud of and work towards with the best of my abilities for the rest of my life.
"I sincerely thank Farmingdale and all their professors and leaders for helping me become one step closer to my dreams."