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Student Speaker Profile: Sara Bird, Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing Program

  By Margaret Calkins
  Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Photo of Sara Bird

Sara Bird's career began as a public interest lawyer where she dedicated over 20 years to helping low-income and marginalized communities. Through this work, she discovered a passion for helping others and decided to pursue a career in health care.

She obtained her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Rochester School of Nursing in May of 2024 and has clinical experience at Rochester Regional Hospital, Strong Hospital, and Golisano Children's Hospital.

Post-graduation, she plans to join Strong Hospital's Med-Surg Flex team.

“When I decided to make a career change, I researched accelerated programs because I wanted to get to work as soon as possible,” Bird said. “UR School of Nursing's one-year program was very attractive to this end, but what sealed the deal was how contemporary and progressive the curriculum seemed to be and how state-of-the-art the labs were. It turned out to be the right choice. I have no regrets.”


What inspired you to become a nurse and to work in health care?

After serving low-income and marginalized communities for two decades, I came to understand that the law does not evolve with knowledge in the way science and medicine do. The law is a tool created by those in power to maintain the status quo and the search for truth has very little to do with how law is delivered. Nursing, on the other hand, is based on science and ever-evolving best practices. It is so refreshing in this way. In nursing, I still get to help people, but I get to do it with the truth and a goal to create a greater good for all on my side.

What have you enjoyed the most about your experience at the School of Nursing?

The thing I've enjoyed most about my experience at UR School of Nursing has been the connections I've made with my classmates. We are a small cohort, so we've gotten to know and support each other in ways I could not have imagined. It's such a bright and kind group of folks. 

Which faculty, staff, preceptors or other members of the School community have impacted you in your time here and why?

The folks at UR School of Nursing are all great people who truly care that they are fostering excellent nurses. If I had to pick some favorites, they would include Ashley Humm. Ashley is a tireless and kindhearted soul who cares so much about making sure we have our technical skills down. She took extra time with one of our classmates who struggled due to some physical limitations to make sure this student did not fall behind. This extra mile really reflects Ashley's dedication. Likewise, Margot Buschang, Jen Zugnoni, and Lauren Lee teach from the heart and care so much about nurturing students and creating competent and compassionate nurses. 

What are you looking forward to most post-graduation?

I've already secured a position at Strong Memorial Hospital on the Med-Surg Flex team, and I am so pumped to get to work in this field. The opportunity to work in different acute care units, develop a broad set of skills, and care for all different types of people is exhilarating. I cannot wait to get started.  

What are your favorite things about Rochester? What places would you recommend to someone who’s new in town?

I moved here from West Virginia for school a year ago, so I am still exploring and getting to know Rochester. The Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing program did not allow for a lot of free time, but I've had the opportunity to discover that there are so many hiking spots in and out of the city. There is no shortage of parks and trails to explore in the area, like Mendon Ponds and Cummings Nature Center. I also love how diverse this town is. It's queer-friendly and there's no shortage of restaurants of all manner of international cuisines. The people are so nice and friendly everywhere you go. I plan on sticking around for a while.

Categories: Nursing Education

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