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Dean Viggiano '22N

A former tutoring company owner with a bachelor's in biology, Dean discovered a new way to combine his love for science and one-on-one education when one of his clients was a nursing student.

Tom Ruffing, in white and blue nursing uniform, smiling at a camera

For seven years, Dean Viggiano ’22N ran his own tutoring service, helping students from fourth grade and up with academic subjects and test preparation. When one of his clients was a nursing student looking for science tutoring, it ended up changing the trajectory of Dean’s career.

Having graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s in biology, Dean considered anatomy, physiology and microbiology among his favorite subjects and was more than happy to help. 

“I started seeing the other topics that nursing students learn about, and became interested in researching the nursing profession, which I had never previously considered,” Dean said. “I found that nursing was the perfect way to combine my love of biology and education with my desire to help people by working with them directly in an in-person, one-on-one setting.” 

While pursuing his second bachelor’s degree at the UR School of Nursing, Dean made the most of the School's academic-clinical partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center. He built strong connections during his clinical rotations that later helped him land his dream job while he was still finishing his degree. 

Dean graduated in December 2022, delivered the student pinning ceremony speech, and shortly after passing his licensure exam, started his nursing career as a registered nurse at Golisano Children’s Hospital. He works in the pediatric complex care, burn and neuro acute unit.

Why did you choose UR Nursing?

I loved the fact that the school was right across the street from Strong, the hospital where most of our clinical experiences would occur, and that the hospital was a level one trauma center, which meant we'd be able to see some of the most intense, complex, and rare conditions and procedures.

I also was excited about the School of Nursing’s brand new building and equipment, and the fact that UR Nursing is consistently highly ranked among nursing institutions. I really appreciated that, during the application process, I felt like I was being encouraged and supported, especially since other programs I applied to did not feel that way.

A huge benefit of being connected to the University of Rochester Medical Center is that you forge strong connections with the staff during clinicals, which makes it very easy to get your dream job months before you even finish the program!

What are your favorite things about Rochester that you’d recommend to another student from out-of-town?

I've found so many great spots in Rochester. For those who love hiking, I highly recommend the Durand Eastman park, directly across from Durand Eastman beach on Lake Ontario. For biking, I love the Erie Canalway trail. If you have a car, my favorite beach in driving distance is Hamlin Beach, and some great nearby parks are Letchworth State Park and Stony Brook State Park. Coffee lovers will want to visit Ugly Duck coffee. Movie lovers will want to spend time at the Little Theater. Radio Social and The Playhouse/Swillburger are great spots for food, drinks, and activities. For pizza, check out the Peels on Wheels Pizza Garage. Art lovers, check out the MAG. It's free with your student ID! 

Where can you most likely be found if you're not at work?

When I'm not busy studying, I love hiking, kayaking, biking, reading, practicing Martial Arts, cooking with my wife, playing video games, listening to 90s music, and playing guitar and ukulele.

Connect With Us

Interested in becoming a nurse? Connect with us to learn more about the UR Nursing Scholars program or Accelerated Nursing Programs from the University of Rochester.

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