I always wanted to become a nurse because I enjoy close contact with people. After 35 years, I am still finding plenty of variety. I think nursing requires patience and perseverance, and a desire to keep learning. During high school in Johnstown, PA, I volunteered at the local hospital. I earned my nursing diploma from Mercy Hospital, my Bachelor's of Nursing degree from the University of Pennsylvania and my Master's of Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. I've been a staff nurse at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, for 17 years, working in surgical and neurosurgery intensive care units. When I became a staff development instructor I continued my interest in neurosurgery. Because nurses' roles keep expanding, we are forced to learn new things--new medications, procedures, and equipment. You can't become stagnant. I've learned to operate a lot of technology over the years and loved that part of it. As an advanced practice nurse for neurology, neurosurgery and trauma, I consult on staff education and work with physicians to track costs and use resources wisely. I like to plan ahead, to take the initiative and make things happen, and that has helped me in my nursing career. At home, in Penn Hills, PA, I use my creative side in gardening, writing, tennis and astronomy.