Junior softball player Ashley Peterson doesn’t just spend time hitting the ball, she’s hitting the books too, on her way to becoming a nurse. “The nursing program is very strong here, and the campus is beautiful. Also, I love the softball team,” says Peterson of the reason she decided to come to Saint Mary’s. The nursing major is spending the summer interning in the Time Out Pediatric Respite Care Program , as part of the N326 Child Health Nursing course. She’ll be providing respite care to a child with special needs throughout the summer. “The Time Out program has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life,” says Peterson. “I have really come to appreciate what I have been blessed with, and I have developed a whole new respect for the parents of the children. They are truly special people who do not receive the credit they deserve.”
When looking at the unique opportunities that Saint Mary’s has to offer, Peterson sees the Time Out program as one of them. The ability to be a student athlete is another one. “The professors at Saint Mary’s are very flexible and understanding, especially when I am in softball season. They take the time to get to know me as a person instead of as a number.”
While Peterson interned last summer, she had a little playtime too – playing softball with the Indiana Slammers. The All-American Second Team, All-Central Region First-Team, MIAA Softball Batting Champion, and MIAA First Team player was the only Division III player on the team, playing alongside Division I players. “It was a great experience, and I hope to be able to play with them again this summer,” says Peterson.
Peterson’s summer could have included a trip to Mexico, but her commitment to the Time Out program kept her north of the border. Her minor in Spanish won’t go to waste, as Peterson’s post-college career plans include continued studies in nursing or possibly moving south where, “more patients speak Spanish so I can be a bilingual nurse.”
The nursing program at Saint Mary’s is one of six nationally accredited programs, and Peterson says that Saint Mary’s has given her wonderful professors and colleagues who have made the learning process easy and fun. “The best part of the Saint Mary’s nursing program is the professors who work so hard for us to learn as well as have a great time doing it. Also, the small class size allows all of us to get to know each other very well and work together instead of as individuals. Some of my best friends are nursing majors with me.”