ASU Edson College's alumni coordinator fulfills dream of becoming a nurse
As a senior in high school, Angie Haskovec’s future career plans centered around becoming a nurse. She grew up with parents who consistently role-modeled caring for others, and her aunt, someone who always inspired her, was a nurse.
“I think it was always about helping people, and I thought, what better way to do that than through helping them at some of their most vulnerable and difficult times?” Haskovec said.
But life took her in a different direction. Haskovec pursued a career in higher education, and along the way, she started a family. When she joined Arizona State University's Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation in 2016 as the alumni coordinator, the idea of recommitting to her goal of becoming a nurse started to take shape.
“I always felt rewarded in my career, but then when I came to Edson College I met so many people who are doing incredible things to make a difference in the world,” she said. “That was really the catalyst. The dream was always there, it just kind of had sparks added to it, and I decided the time is now.”
Haskovec started in the college’s concurrent enrollment program, a time-efficient and cost-effective option that enables students to earn an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in nursing simultaneously.
As a concurrent enrollment student, Haskovec took the required in-person coursework necessary to become a registered nurse at a community college. At the same time, she was taking classes online at Edson College.
Throughout the program, she knew exactly where she wanted to work in the hospital, the newborn intensive care unit, or NICU as it’s known. It’s a unit she was intimately familiar with. In 2015, her son was born at 24 weeks and spent 12 days in the NICU.
“I had been impacted so deeply by the nurses who cared for me and my family that I wanted to be able to give back in a similar way to what they gave to me as a complete stranger,” Haskovec said.
In what she described as one of her favorite moments during her nursing education, Haskovec was able to bridge her personal, community college and Edson College experiences through her bachelor’s program capstone project.
“I was able to create a training program for new nurses in the NICU on how to be a bereavement support person for families that my former OB instructor now shares in her class at the community college,” she said. “It felt like that was my full circle moment. Even though I’m just a new grad and I don’t know very much compared to more experienced nurses, I was still able to make a difference.”
This May, Haskovec turned her tassel, making her long-held dream a reality and joining the ranks of the alumni she’s worked with all these years. She’s always held health care workers in high regard but has gained even more respect for them during this process.
Right now Haskovec is in the middle of orienting at a local hospital in their NICU while continuing her alumni coordinator role. In many ways, she says becoming a nurse has allowed her to connect on a new level with many alumni because now she knows firsthand what it’s like.
“I take what I learn in the hospital and bring it here and use it when I talk to alumni and even current students about what they’re going through. It allows me to encourage them along the way,” she said.
As for what the future holds, Haskovec is hopeful she’ll find a way to balance her nursing career and higher education career. In the meantime, she’s savoring the here and now and feeling proud of her accomplishments.
“You only live once. I’m a proud mother of six and I want to be a source of inspiration for my children and demonstrate that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and achieve a goal,” she said.