Alumni Spotlight: Veronica (Burris) Delaney, NP - VU Nursing A.S. 12' and B.S. 14"

Alumni Spotlight: Veronica (Burris) Delaney, NP - VU Nursing A.S. 12' and B.S. 14"

Veronica (Burris) Delaney and family

April 28, 2023

What first led me to VU was the fact that I could pursue a two-year degree and start working as quickly as possible. There was a nursing shortage, and they needed nurses in the local area quickly. I started my Associates of Science in Nursing in 2010, and upon graduation began working as a nurse at Daviess Community Hospital in Washington. While I was working as a nurse, I went back to VU and obtained my bachelor's degree in nursing in 2014. The ability to work as a nurse while getting my bachelor's degree was really important to me.  I believe that my 2012 graduating class was VU’s first Bachelor’s class. It was very exciting to be a part of that first group.

Typically, other colleges begin as a four-year degree, so you're not able to work until you're completely done with that degree. Being able to learn for two years, and then work immediately after, was very appealing for me when viewing schools. I also knew that the nursing department was top rated in the area and students are well prepared for the required national examination, and so, going directly into a strong nursing community and having a strong nursing education was extremely important. I felt like I received a great education at VU toward becoming a nurse.

I attended USI to become a Nurse Practitioner, graduating in 2019. I was accepted right into their Master’s program. The clinicals combined with the writing and research of my Bachelor’s courses really helped prepare me for the Master’s Courses. I feel like working while studying for my Bachelor’s really influenced my approach to the nursing field.  I had a professor tell me that they could tell which students have been working as a nurse vs. those that haven’t because their knowledge is more expansive.  Work experience shows through details such as knowledge of medications and knowing the correct way to talk and work with patients. 

I feel like I made great connections while I was at VU because of the work experience at area hospitals.  VU Professor, Jo Brocksmith, really made an impression on me at VU.  She used evidence-based practice and taught us the fundamentals of nursing.  It was very important to have that fundamental base so we could add to that knowledge in our nursing practice. Performing my clinicals at DCH and Good Samaritan influenced me to stay here.  Good Samaritan is filled with cutting-edge practice, while my time at DCH and local nursing homes provided a wealth of experience. It definitely impacted my wants and desires to stay in the area. Once I became a nurse, I was able to get a job right out of school because of the connections that I made, and I was able to use everything that I learned from VU to be successful in my program.

Looking back on my time at VU, I’d tell current students that VU is a great option for anyone.  I worked with students taking online classes from as far as Florida.  VU is a community college, but offers everything I would receive at any four-year institution.  It was affordable, close to home, and I was able to work right away, which really reduced the burden of debt and allowed me to continue my education.  Freedom from student debt was the biggest point for me.  I did not utilize scholarships at VU, but the tuition cost was so low-cost that working in the field allowed me to pay for it as I was studying.  I didn’t have any student loans and I don’t think a lot of students think about the impact of loans when they graduate. Not having to pay loans for an extended time is amazing.

I’ve maintained contact with many friends from that era of my life. One lives down the road from me, and I was at her wedding.  I've been a part of two weddings through friendships from nursing school. It's so funny, because I thought that if I never attended VU, I never would have met these amazing people. I can't imagine not having them in my life. That was something that was special about VU—the relationships that I formed during school, and then the ones that I maintained afterwards, continue on today.

For my next goal, I want to become more established in Loogootee and build new and returning patients.  On the horizon is going back to school for my Doctoral degree.   That will be next for me. If I can give anyone advice about going to nursing school it’s to obtain your ASN and start working immediately that way. Your depth of knowledge will be so much greater.  Once you get in and start working in the field, continue to pursue your Bachelor’s and your Master’s.  Education is incredibly important, and there's never any reason to stop going back to school. Maybe you don't want to, and it's a lot of hard work, but in the end it's very much worth it.