Paige Crowley is getting settled into her New York City apartment and is just finishing up orientation at her new job in a Manhattan hospital. The TCU student hasn’t actually received her diploma yet, but has completed all of the requirements to graduate this semester with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Moving to New York was her plan, but everything intensified after the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It’s always been my plan to move to New York,” said the Oklahoma City native. “I wanted a change of scenery, a change of pace, and New York is known for its great hospitals. I enjoy pushing myself, so this is a great place to keep learning new things, meeting new people and experiencing a new kind of diversity.”
With a plan in sight, she began researching living arrangements and jobs, which in New York would mean waiting until summer to take its state-exclusive licensing test before obtaining a nursing residency.
Then coronavirus made its appearance in the United States, hitting New York particularly hard.
“It was a bit unsettling, but my parents were very supportive and encouraged me to do what I wanted to do,” Crowley said. “I decided to keep applying for jobs and began reaching out even more aggressively.”
She switched from applying for residency positions to applying for technician positions, which are called patient care associates in New York. This would allow her to go ahead and move and work while waiting for an opportunity to test for her New York nursing license. Two days after applying, she received a call from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.
“The pandemic is such an opportunity to take these first steps and, at the same time be able to help out when they need an extra hand,” Crowley said. “This is a calling for me, and I wanted to jump in as soon as I could.”
Though she’s on her own coming from Texas, she was relieved to start orientation with about 40 other nursing graduates and is proud of the experience she’s bringing.
“The nursing school prepared me so well,” Crowley said. “We walked into part of the orientation where we were supposed to demonstrate some of the things we know, and I really didn’t know what to expect, but I walked out feeling so proud of everything I was able to do.”
Crowley said it was the first opportunity she’d had to really put her education in to practice.
“TCU really prepares us to work hard and find our passion and run for it,” she said.