Commencement '22: newly minted graduates tell their stories

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Jessica Malsky
Austin, Texas
MSN, School of Nursing

How did the pandemic affect your experience of studying nursing?
At the very beginning of nursing school, everybody gets fit-tested for a special mask. That special mask is an N-95. They told us, “The State of Connecticut requires this. You’ll never need this mask during nursing school; we’re not going to put you in with any patients that require this.”

A short eight months later, as COVID unfolded, it quickly became very clear that we would always be wearing these special masks.

Tell me more.
They needed the students in a way that they never thought that they would need us. Yale nursing students vaccinated almost the entire Yale community, and many in the New Haven community. Some students went all over the state with mobile vaccination clinics.

What’s your nursing specialty?
Family nurse practitioner, a primary care specialty. It’s full-spectrum care from birth to the older population.

Can you trace the influences that you led you to this career?
Both of my parents are doctors, my brother is a doctor, I’ve got nurses in the family. I resisted this career choice for a while. But Texas has the highest number of uninsured people in the country, and I just kept thinking about health care issues and how I could be involved. I realized I wanted to do direct-facing, hands-on patient care.
Do you have a job lined up?
I’m going back to Texas. I immediately was able to get employment at the clinic I worked in  previously as a medical assistant. They said, “Come on back as a nurse practitioner!”

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