Brian Sager, 35, just completed his first semester in St. Vincent’s College AS Nursing program. Born and raised in Orange, CT, he now lives in Branford, CT. Brian's story is so interesting to all of us at St. Vincent's College because he was heading for a professional baseball career until he had to change his course and fournd the St. Vincent's College nursing program. He kindly shared with us his journey as a nursing student. Please share his story.
What drew you to a nursing career?
My childhood dream had always been to become a major league baseball player. I attended Stanford University on a full baseball scholarship, and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. I played three seasons in the minor leagues until an extremely rare injury to my radial nerve kept me off the field. After graduating from Stanford in 2005 I moved back to Connecticut to work with my father in his insurance business. After his death in 2009 from kidney cancer, I knew that healthcare was where I belonged, but was uncertain as to the exact discipline. After subsequent courses at SCSU, UCONN, and Gateway, a little research, and a lot of introspection, I found the St. Vincent’s College nursing program.
Tell us about your nursing clinical experience.
My clinical experience in Nursing 101 took place on 10 South in St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Since I had no prior medical experience, I was very anxious about this part of the program. I learned that 10 South is a medical-surgical floor but also serves as an overflow unit. My clinical professor (Professor Dacey) was instrumental in relieving my anxieties and uncertainties, providing me with all the necessary instruction, oversight, and support I needed throughout my practicum. My anxiety quickly turned to excitement and a deep desire to learn something new on every clinical round. My Nursing 101 professors have fostered a self-confidence that has allowed me to step up to any task before me.
As you look back on your first semester, what stands out most for you?
My experience in St. Vincent’s College nursing program thus far has opened my eyes to a life of service that I never deemed possible. Professor Dacey and Professor Giesen inspired me to become more involved in volunteer work through the Student Nurses Association, Phi Theta Kappa and local organizations here in Bridgeport. They made me feel confident about my choice to enter nursing and my ability to contribute to the profession. I am now more certain than ever that I have found my true calling in life. I am stepping up to personal and educational challenges in a way that amazes me each day. If my brief time here at St. Vincent's College has taught me anything, it is that a life dedicated to the care of others can provide rewards that are beyond measure.
What do you like to do when you are not studying?
As a former professional athlete, I would have to say that lifting weights and exercise are imprinted in my DNA. This is by far my favorite thing to do when I have the chance. Playing in the minor leagues afforded me the opportunity to see a lot of exciting places, people, and things. But as the years have passed, I have found myself more content with quiet evenings and the simple pleasures in life. I enjoy sporting events, especially football, movies, and travel.