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Jessica Sheers in Nursing department

Jessica Sheers

“My hands-on internship experience was more than just shadowing someone; the real work I did solidified my desire to be a nurse.”
Major: Nursing
Hometown: Wadsworth, Ohio
Involvement: Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP)

“I am grateful to all the nurses that took me under their wing and had the confidence in me and trusted me to handle things on my own because I was that patient’s nurse too, not just a student.”

The United States Army brought nursing major Jessica Sheers to Austin Peay State University, but it was Sheers who took advantage of her opportunities and excelled at one of the region’s best nursing programs. An Ohio native and the wife of an Army combat medic, Sheers stood out among her classmates and peers at other institutions when she received the prestigious Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Credo Award during a recent internship opportunity through Austin Peay and VUMC.

Working as a maternal/infant track nursing intern, Sheers was recognized for her exceptional care and professional approach to a demanding, high-stress field of nursing. Austin Peay nursing students like Sheers are encouraged to pursue opportunities like the Vanderbilt Experience: Student Nurse Internship Program (VESNIP), which are highly competitive and considered among the most elite internships available to nursing students in the region.

“I believe that being a nurse and taking care of women in their vulnerable state of delivery, especially women who are first-time single moms and don’t know what to expect, it’s important for them to realize they have a nurse there who is there for them,” Sheers said. “I felt as if I were working as a real nurse; getting to go to all of the areas, such as labor and delivery, newborn nursery, and postpartum and being able to do so much more than just shadow a nurse, solidified my desire to make nursing my career.”