Nurses in the (USG) House

I had something else in mind to write about for my first post, but changed course when a few of my fellow bloggers did not know there was a nursing school on our campus. What? How can this be?

The University of Maryland School of Nursing has classes in Baltimore as well as on the Shady Grove campus. It is a challenging program and as one of our professors explained it, “Of course it’s challenging—in four semesters, you’ll be Registered Nurses!” But there is a whole lot of work to do before they let us loose on patients.

Even before we can apply to nursing school, we have to take Microbiology (“Parasites, bacteria and viruses, oh my!”), Anatomy and Physiology I and II (“Name that body part and how it works”), Nutrition (“What’s the deal with carbohydrates?”), Statistics (“Numbers and percentages for $100, Alex”) and Chemistry (“Please try not to blow up the lab…”). And did I mention that these classes need to be passed with an A or B? Whew! Holy Avogadro’s Number! Did I really take all those classes? I sure did and yes, I still remember 6.022 x 10²³. Thanks, Professor Chabatar!

When I started classes last January, I realized that I was in the midst of 65 smart, driven men and women who have all kinds of “whys” for going to nursing school. Some were in their early 20s continuing their junior and senior years after two years at another university; some came after having undergrad and Masters degrees in other fields; some had been taking care of ill family members and had realized their ‘calling’; and still others had been raising their families and this was a new chapter in their lives. Regardless of the reasons, we have all been called to this noble profession.


In my family, whenever we gather for an important occasion, we take a photo of our feet. Why should my nursing school family be any different?

One thing that I think all of my classmates have realized is that this journey is a lot better with the support of others—whether that support comes from family, classmates, professors or friends. I am blessed with a husband and daughter who totally have my back; friends who have been amazing (although I think they are all vying for free nursing care from me in the future—catheter, anyone?); and parents and sisters who are huge cheerleaders. I especially want to mention my favorite nurse who is also my mom. Did she totally rock the nurse’s cap, or what?


JoAnne (Balch) Gallo aka Mom, Class of 1955, Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing (now Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center), Hanover, NH

So next time you see someone on campus sporting white and khaki scrubs (not to mention stylish white shoes) sitting in the library with a perplexed look on their face while staring intently at a Pathophysiology or MedSurg text book (which BTW, weigh about 75 pounds each), take a moment and hope that if you ever need a nurse, you get one of us. We have taken the challenge and are mastering how it’s done.

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6 Responses to Nurses in the (USG) House

  1. Gaby says:

    Nurses rock! Love your blog.

  2. kim81511 says:

    Thank you Anne for sharing about the nursing school and your experiences in the program. I can imagine the endless hours of studying for your classes and your hands-on assessments. I admire students who decide to pursue a nursing degree because it takes passion to be able to do the job especially during the long hours being in the hospital. My sister was in the nursing program at MC and I saw how much workload she had so I have some ideas of how much you have to do in the program. Go Anne! I think that with time management and organization, anything is possible. I am simply thrilled to know that USG has the nursing program training our hardworking student to become leaders and change agents in the medical field. Keep up the good work 🙂

  3. jeniffer mwangi says:

    You are amazing Ann!. You are an inspiration to me and I think to all our classmates. I admire your energy.
    Thanks for your blog. I am sure it will inspire many to greater heights….I can assure you, I will not miss any of your posts. Keep up!!!

  4. Liz Dunn says:

    I cannot be more proud of you…❤️

  5. Brianna Kearney says:

    This is so well written! I love how relatable this is. Thanks for the boost of inspiration, Anne 🙂

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