Emily Horacek

Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University
For everyone who believes that dreams can come true, there are stories like Emily Horacek’s, a May graduate of Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University and recipient of the GCNA Graduating Senior Award.

Horacek has dreamed of being a nurse since the age of five. “I’ve been interested in health care and always loved working with babies. I was introduced by one of my mom’s friends, who is a neonatal practitioner at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.”

Born in Nebraska, Horacek has lived in more Midwestern cities than most of us have visited, living in Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa and attending high school in Missouri. Despite moving frequently, her career goals have remained constant.

“I didn’t want to wait until my second year to begin clinicals and knew that Frances Payne Bolton was one of the only schools where you can do first-year clinicals,” Horacek says. “And it’s in such a great hospital area. It was my first choice.”

Her enthusiasm has taken her beyond the classroom, too. Horacek gained real-world experience in Palataka, Fla., a rural town with fruit farms that have attracted a large number of Hispanic and African American laborers. With such a concentrated population, the community had to come up with a solution for better medical facilities. In one area, an RV provided mobile health care, while vans transported other patients to a nearby clinic. “Working there was one of my most rewarding experiences.”

She’ll be the first to admit that obtaining her bachelor’s in nursing in four years has been stressful. “It doesn’t leave you with a lot of time to be with friends. You’re completing coursework, doing clinicals two days a week for eight hours at a time, so there’s not much time left for extracurricular activities.”

Yet, as she looks to the future, she knows she will attain her goals: “I want to secure a position at Rainbow Babies and Children’s.”
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