Patty Duffy

Nursing Major and Belles athlete Patty Duffy makes the most of her Saint Mary’s experience.

Patty Duffy works hard to balance her academic goals with her athletic pursuits. She is enrolled in the nationally accredited nursing program at Saint Mary’s, and she plays on the Belles soccer team. “If I had a penny for every time I've heard, ‘It's tough being a nursing major and an athlete,’ I would be rich,” says the Belles starting goal keeper. “However, at Saint Mary's I'm surrounded by people who push me to achieve greatness both in the classroom and on the field. I've got the got the grades and the bruises to prove it,” she adds.

Duffy hails from Chicago, Ill. She enrolled in the nursing program at Saint Mary’s to explore her interests in the science of the profession and to help people. The rigorous coursework and fieldwork are preparing her to achieve her goal to work in a Chicago hospital. As a nursing major at Saint Mary’s, Duffy is required to complete clinicals, fieldwork in local hospitals providing her with hands-on experience and decision-making, working with patients in a real-world setting.

“Clinicals are pretty nerve-wracking the first time and you think ‘Oh man, I’m going to the hospital, I’m going to be giving people meds, and I’m going to be giving them care. This is what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life so I have to get it right the first time,’” says Duffy. “But then your professors take you aside and say ‘You’re at the stage where you’re just learning now. We understand that.’ They’ll let you be independent but they’re right there, making sure that you do things right.”

Duffy benefits from the close attention of her professors and collaboration with her peers in the nursing department. “Family is a very big priority in my life,” says Duffy. She is encouraged by the family atmosphere at the College. “It’s nice to get that teacher interaction,” says Duffy. “I know everyone in my nursing major. I mean, how many people can say ‘I know everyone in my major.’ Not a lot, but it’s cool because we’re a family, and that’s how families work.”