Justin Sabas, BS, RN
Class of 2018
I began my undergraduate studies at Montclair State University (MSU) in the fall of 2006, majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. I entered MSU without
any knowledge of what I wanted my career to be or what I wanted to do with my future. I then spent the next two years at MSU switching majors– completely unengaged in what I was studying. I turned to the Aquatic and Coastal Sciences Program in my junior year, with a newfound interest in science. I spent the next four years in the program, studying the various areas of aquatic sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics. I was more motivated as a student, however, during the course of my studies, I still did not have a clear vision of my career. Overall, the program served as a great foundation for the sciences and I finally graduated from MSU in May of 2012.
Still misguided upon graduation, I began to explore my options in the healthcare and medical professions. After finding an overwhelming passion for the medical field, I strived to find a path into an MD program. This dream seemed unreachable especially since I did not have any prior experience or knowledge of medicine. However, the Middlesex County College Medical Assistant Certificate Program (Edison, New Jersey) enabled me to obtain an entry into the healthcare field. I began the program in the fall of 2012 and completed it in the spring of 2013. The program was excellent and served as a great entry way into healthcare. Courses included basic anatomy and physiology, basic pharmacology, medical office administration, clinical procedures, phlebotomy, EKG, cardiac emergencies, CPR, and an externship of 200 hours within an urgent care facility. Midway through my medical assistant studies and having been influenced by my sister (also an RN), I decided to apply to nursing school. Unexpectedly, I was admitted to the Registered Nurse Program at Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing (Teaneck, NJ). I began nursing school August of 2013 and continued to work as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) until October of 2013.
I attended nursing school for the next two years, graduating in June of 2015, and cherished every moment of it. The lectures, simulation and skills labs, clinical hours and exposure, and required coursework was work I wanted to do, knowledge I wanted to know, and skills I wanted to master. Each and every professor served as a mentor and inspiration. I was voted and served as the President of the Class of 2015, with obligations to fundraise for the class pinning ceremony and bridge communication between the class and faculty. I also had a fantastic experience in nursing leadership and education by becoming involved within the Student-Faculty Coordinating Committee and Curriculum Committee, and getting interviewed during the school’s ACEN re-accreditation. In July 2013, I traveled abroad to Mendoza, Argentina as a student RN and interned within a general medical-surgical nursing ward caring for 12-15 patients daily, practicing the techniques I learned in the areas of assessment and medication administration. Beginning in April of 2014 (to present) I had the opportunity to shadow a Family Nurse Practitioner for APN/pediatric nursing mentorship within a primary care facility on a weekly basis. I served as a Delegate for the New Jersey Nursing Students Convention in 2014 and attended the convention for professional development purposes in 2015. Upon graduation, I earned leadership and volunteer work recognition, and was not only proud but also thankful of where my nursing roots began. During the summer of 2015, I passed my boards in July, got hired to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (Newark, NJ) as a full-time staff RN, and was accepted as a full-time student to the RN to BSN program at Rutgers School of Nursing (Newark, NJ).
Being a full-time student and working full-time simultaneously has definitely been a challenge. Both school and work challenge me daily to be the best I can be, research as much as I can, and to manage my time. Aside from school and work, I care for my dog and father at home, play tennis and volleyball, exercise and read, and spend time with my friends and family as time allows. In times of stress, I always think that I (or someone else!) could always be in a worse situation and appreciate where I am at and take full advantage of it. Throughout nursing school, and currently, being extremely organized and able to plan accordingly has definitely proven to be successful. As expected, Rutgers has challenged me to think critically about my current nursing practice as well as other components of nursing such as healthcare legislation, evidence-based practice and research, informatics and technology, community and public health, and leadership and management.
Nursing has not only made me realize what my true career path is, but has revealed what I truly feel passionate about – becoming a voice and leader for a deserving profession. Nursing has developed the leadership and professional qualities I felt that I always had, but never knew how to effectively utilize. I have recently volunteered my time at the 2016 New Jersey Nursing Students Convention to speak within a panel, sharing insight and discussing the transition into professional nursing practice. Currently, I continue to mentor both nursing students and nurses alike – providing any information and assistance that I can to aid in furthering their professional careers. I have also chosen to enlist within the United States Air Force in 2017, to enhance my critical care and leadership skills while giving back and honoring the country that has provided me with all of the opportunities and accomplishments I have had to get to where I am today. I am a current member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA), the Holy Name Medical Center School of Nursing Alumni Association, and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). My nursing interests include critical care, neonatal, pediatric, and emergency nursing, as well as healthcare legislation and successful transition into professional nursing practice. My future plans after graduating from Rutgers include serving and gaining exponential experience within the Air Force and hopefully becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). My success would never have been possible without the support of my family, friends (past and those I made along the way), all of my professors, and colleagues at work. For me, success began once I realized I needed to change, found the solution, and “ran with it”…little did I know that I would live and continue my dream.
--Update: Justin completed the RN to BS program and is now studying to be a Nurse Practitioner --
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