NECC Nursing Program 50th Anniversary: Q&A with Aja Nicholson ’13
This year marks 50 years since the NECC nursing program graduated its first class. To celebrate, we are sharing the diverse success stories of nursing alumni through the decades whose contributions have positively impacted the community. Enjoy!
Aja Nicholson ’13, ADON, BSN, RN
Current Job Title: Transitional Care Unit Manager, Genesis Healthcare
What led you to a career in nursing? Who or what inspired you? “I always felt like I was destined to be a nurse. My dad was very sick when I was a little girl with diabetes and lung cancer. I remember him having a lobectomy and I was in the ICU watching while the surgeon took out every stitch from the large hook-shaped incision in my dad’s back. The nurses were so nice to my family and provided us support up until the day he passed away.”
Do you have a favorite memory of NECC that you’d like to share? “My first clinical ever was my first experience in patient care — my NECC clinical group started our nursing career at Tewksbury State Hospital. I was so absolutely terrified of the experience. I remember coming home after that first day of clinical and being so horrified about what life can actually hold for people that I almost did not go back that next day. Obviously, the next day, I woke up, showered and went to clinical again, despite my fears. I did not know at the time, but this was the solidifying moment in my life that yes, I absolutely can do this. I ended up feeling grateful for the fact that THAT was my first ever patient care experience; trial by fire — that is what a lot of being a nurse is about.”
How do you relieve stress after a long work day? “Sometimes I cry, sometimes I cook. There is usually a small glass of red wine involved at some point after the work day depending on the events of the day.”
Please see the Student & Alumni section of the Newsroom for more interviews with NECC nursing program graduates.