The joy of nursing: Meet 2023 PNW graduate Jazmin Encarnacion

December 6, 2023
PNW 2023 graduate Jazmin Encarnacion

As far back as she can remember, Jazmin Encarnacion, ’23, has always had an interest in the medical field. This interest eventually led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) College of Nursing. She will also earn a minor in Spanish.

Encarnacion brought her love of music with her to PNW, where she was a member of the PNW jazz band. The Hammond native is not only a singer but also plays the clarinet, alto and baritone saxophones. “I sometimes incorporate music into my work,” she says. “If a patient is really sick and isn’t doing well, I’ll sing to them, or play some music, and they’ll respond. I’m grateful I can bring my musical background into my true passion – which is nursing.”

As a volunteer for College of Nursing recruiting events, Encarnacion gave prospective nursing students tours of the Nils K. Nelson Bioscience Innovation Building, participated on student panels and spoke to students about the nursing program. In addition, she volunteered in the vaccine clinics at PNW, which provided flu and COVID-19 shots to campus and community members.

The Hammond native currently works as an emergency room technician at Franciscan Health Munster. Following graduation, she will begin her nursing career as an emergency room nurse at the same location. Encarnacion loves the hustle and bustle of the emergency room and the teamwork involved and admits that emergency medicine can be addicting. However, her end goal is to eventually work in a neonatal intensive care unit.

What did you like most about PNW?

“To pick just one! I like that it feels like a family. It’s a large campus, but it doesn’t feel that way. I appreciated that I had one advisor in my program. I had my exploratory advisor until I picked my major, and then I had one advisor the entire time. It’s nice to have the same person to talk to. They’re getting to know you and making sure you stay on track. And just all the resources PNW has – it’s very student-centered. You can tell that PNW cares about its students.”

What did you like most about the Nursing program at PNW?

“I liked the structure and setup of the program. Everything is laid out for you from the beginning, you know what classes you have to take and it gives you a timeline to follow your progress. I also like how the professors are very hands-on with the students. They make sure that we’re not just physically in class but that we’re understanding the material. They’re available to meet with students, and they’re very supportive and really want to see you succeed.”

Did you have a pivotal experience while attending PNW?

“It was March of 2020, and I was waiting to see if I had been accepted into the Nursing program. I was sitting in biology lab, scrolling through my phone before class started and an email from the PNW Nursing program popped up. It was either an acceptance or a rejection email. I was too scared to open it, so I went into the hallway and called my mom. I opened the email, and I got accepted! I literally cried and accepted the invitation immediately! It hit me in that moment, okay I’m doing this, this is what I want and I’m making it happen. It was life-changing and something I didn’t take for granted. It still kind of makes me teary-eyed when I remember that day.”

What words of advice would you share with prospective students looking to attend PNW?

“Do it all. Do everything. Go outside the box, learn about yourself and find out who you really want to be. Join clubs, talk to everybody, network because you never know where life can take you. Don’t settle and do it all.”

Was there anyone at PNW who inspired or encouraged you along the way?

Therese Johnson

Therese Johnson

academic and student success advisor

“There were two. The first was my advisor, Therese Johnson. She was in my corner from day one. I would not be here without her help, expertise and guidance leading me in the right direction. She is always so supportive and encouraging. She always says nurses are angels on earth, but she’s one herself.”

Karen O’Brien

Former Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

“The second is Karen O’Brien. She helped me navigate the type of nurse I want to be and showed me there are many opportunities in nursing.”

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