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Marie O'Donnell, BSN '13, MSN '17

Marie O'DonnellMarie O’Donnell went from crunching numbers to patient care all over a span of 20-plus years.

“My career in healthcare began 20 years ago after more than a dozen years working in financial markets and co-owning a small business,” she said. “Although I enjoyed the field, I became intrigued by the work of emergency responders and became an emergency medical technician (EMT), volunteering on my local first aid squad.”

Soon after, O’Donnell became a nationally registered paramedic and, in 2007, earned her RN license.

Knowing that holding advanced credentials would give her the tools she needed to be a more valuable member of the healthcare community, she resolved to pursue her degree.

“I chose Thomas Edison after careful consideration of the accreditations it has earned and from the accounts of colleagues who spoke very highly of the institution,” O’Donnell said. “As an adult learner with multiple jobs, children, family, a husband and pets, I was pleased with the values, process and plans for degree completion set forth by the University.”

After enrolling in the University’s RN-BSN/MSN degree program in 2011, O’Donnell earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2013, followed four years later by the completion of her Master of Science in Nursing degree program in 2017.

“The curriculum for both programs I completed ensured that I had a well-rounded education, exposing me to health concerns, political issues and the importance of advocacy not only here in the United States but worldwide,” she explained. “The mentors and advisory staff at Thomas Edison were consistently supportive and caring to my needs.”

O’Donnell, who has been working as a certified flight nurse on New Jersey’s State Medevac Helicopter, NorthSTAR for the past five years, is not only grateful to the staff and for the knowledge gained, but also for the financial support that helped her throughout her journey.

She was a recipient of the W. Cary Edwards Foundation Nursing Scholarship, which is made available to New Jersey residents who are enrolled in or seeking enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate nursing degree program at the University and whose tuition is not fully covered by a hospital system or other professional organization.

The scholarship, established in 2013, is funded by an annual grant from the W. Cary Edwards Foundation.

“This financial assistance provided me with the ability to reduce my time-to-degree completion, propelling me further toward my goal,” she explained. “As a recipient of these funds, I am thankful to the W. Cary Edwards Foundation for its support, and, on behalf of scholarship recipients, I would like to say ‘thank you.’”