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Grace Smith

Former Division I hockey player Grace Smith is making the most of an academic medical center as she explores what kind of nurse she'd like to be. 

Grace Smith, nurse smiling at a camera

As a former student athlete with an interest in physiology, Grace Smith knew she wanted to pursue a health-related career. During her junior year of college, a conversation with her adviser about St. Lawrence University’s early acceptance agreement with the UR School of Nursing opened Grace’s eyes to the wide array of possibilities a nursing career can offer.

“I was drawn into how many different directions a nurse can take with their career,” Grace recalls. “I love how it allows me to combine my love for human physiology with the rewarding feeling that you are truly making a difference in each patient’s experience.”

Pursuing her second bachelor’s degree in the setting of an academic medical center has offered Grace the space to expand her curiosity and explore what specialties she is most interested in.

“I have learned so much from my clinical instructors, co-assigned nurses, patients, and other staff on the units,” Grace says. “We are so fortunate to be able to learn at URMC and experience many of the different specialties that we could go into.”

What have you enjoyed the most about being at UR Nursing?

Both the people that I have encountered, and the facilities that we get to use every day, have helped me grow so much. Between instructors and my peers, people genuinely care about you and want you to succeed. My peers come into the field with so many incredible life experiences and I have learned so much from each of them. I have also been so fortunate to benefit from the vertical expansion in the School of Nursing, including the new simulation rooms, classroom, and skills labs. It’s a safe space for us to learn and build our nursing skills before using them on our patients.

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

I recently joined Vault in downtown Rochester, where I have been doing spin and boxing classes. It has been so much fun! I have also started coaching youth hockey goalies across Rochester to stay involved with hockey and meet new people in the community. Coaching has become a passion of mine since I "retired" when I graduated from St. Lawrence University, and it has been great to get involved with athletes in Rochester! I was an NCAA D1 hockey goalie, so the sport consumed my life. Coaching has filled that gap since I finished my playing career. 

I enjoy cooking and shopping, as well as finding time to coach youth hockey players in the central NY area. My family is in Ithaca, New York, which is just a 2-hour drive away, so it has been easy for me to visit them as well. I also have a long distance boyfriend who has been my rock through the program so far!

What are your favorite things about Rochester?

I have loved exploring Rochester since moving here in August of 2022. Some of my favorite spots have been the Rochester Public Market and restaurants such as the Mad Hatter. I’m still learning about the area, but there is so much to do here and everyone has been so welcoming!

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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