Helping Others Through Nursing

by · March 9, 2015

Junior nursing major Diana Pernicano dressed in her scrubs for her first day of sophomore year in 2014.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a nursing major at the Mount? Knight Life recently interviewed junior nursing major Diana Pernicano to get the scoop on this popular Mount program.

Knight Life: Why did you choose to be a nursing major?

Diana:  I always enjoyed learning about science and helping others. When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was driven even more to help people feel better. Once in the nursing program, I was also diagnosed with cancer, which made me even more interested in the medical profession and why people get ill.

Knight Life: What is your favorite aspect of the major?

Diana: I love being able to interact with the other nursing students and our patients in the clinical setting. Right now we are learning basic care on patients in a nursing home. The patients really love interacting with the students, and it is a great opportunity for the students to take what they have learned and apply it to a real scenario. I also love being challenged; the nursing program at MSMC makes you think critically about case scenarios in ways you have never thought before.

Knight Life: What is your favorite class within the major (and why)?

Diana: I really love Nursing Skills. I love learning new procedures such as NG (nasogastric) tube insertion, catheter insertion, bed making, and wound care. It is so interesting to not only learn about illness, but also to learn the steps needed to improve patient health. It is also the first class where we have a clinical component.

Knight Life: Is there a particular professor who has influenced you in your major?

Diana:  I really loved having Doctor Schulmerich and Dr. Corcoran. Both of these professors inspired me to not only become a better student, but also a better nurse. They challenged me and made me think about what characteristics are critical of a good nurse. Although some of our assignments have been challenging, they have all been rewarding in the end.

Knight Life: Do you have any advice for prospective students and freshmen in your major?

Diana: Time management is definitely the most important part of being a strong nursing student. This might seem easy, but it’s definitely an adjustment transitioning from high school-level work to college-level assignments. You want to be able to spend time studying, but also plan time to do relaxing activities. Personally, I find the strongest nursing students are the ones who are involved on campus, whether it is through participation on a sports team or being involved in a club. It is important to find something that you enjoy doing to help you relax. The most successful nursing students are those who are able to balance work and fun.

To read more about Diana’s story, as well as Relay for Life (which she is the co-chair of this year), please visit


Diana Pernicano, Class of 2016, is a nursing major from Yorktown Heights, NY with a minor in biology.