Virginia Trent (née Kennedy) B.S. '61, M.A.'70
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Rockville Centre, Long Island as a teenager, Mrs. Trent decided that it was time for her to explore life outside New York after graduating from high school. She and her husband George Davidson married and moved out west, where they had two children. After raising her family in California for several years, Mrs. Trent’s mother convinced her daughter to "come home." Mrs. Trent and her husband moved to New York and settled in Garden City, where they had two more children.
As a resident of Garden City, Mrs. Trent was introduced to many graduates of Adelphi’s nursing program. A mother of four in her mid-thirties, Mrs. Trent decided it was time that she fulfill her own dream of becoming a nurse. With Adelphi's campus just minutes away, and her mother able to provide care for her children, Mrs. Trent enrolled in Adelphi’s nursing program.
After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in 1961, Mrs. Trent embarked on a career in nursing, working at Nassau County Hospital in Mineola. "I loved patient care," she recalls. "And I particularly enjoyed the experience of gaining knowledge first-hand."
After working at the hospital for several years, Mrs. Trent decided she wanted to pursue her next degree. "I was always taught that the more education you receive, the better you will be in your profession," says Mrs. Trent, who returned to Adelphi to earn her master's degree.
She fondly remembers the experience of writing her thesis, which investigated the relationship between the frequency of post-operative delirium occurring after open-heart surgery and the amount of sleep obtained post-operatively. "I loved the thesis experience…the collection and analysis of data," she recalls.
After receiving her master's degree in science from Adelphi in 1970, Mrs. Trent continued to work at Nassau Hospital. During this time Mrs. Trent remarried, and in 1989 she retired to Florida with her husband Thomas.
"Once a nurse, always a nurse," says Mrs. Trent, who is still an active member of Sigma Theta Tau and the National League for Nursing. She continues to stay current in the field of nursing by reading nursing journals and publications. "I can sit for hours and read," says Mrs. Trent. "I always loved nursing, so I enjoy staying updated."
Mrs. Trent is proud to say that all four of her children are college graduates; their mother’s love for education was clearly passed on to her children! Mrs. Trent’s daughter, Leslie Davidson, graduated from Adelphi University in 1974. Mrs. Trent also has three grandchildren.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I was a Red Cross nurse's aide during World War II, and this began my interest in nursing. Even though I was only 17, after that experience I knew I wanted to go into nursing. I also always had a love of children.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi?
I am grateful to the faculty of the School of Nursing, especially my professors Mrs. Catherine Stern, Miss M. Elaine Wittmann, Dr. M. L. Buchanan, and Mr. Shirae Cho, who were encouraging and supportive, and provided guidance throughout my thesis experience. I’m so proud of my thesis; to this day, I still read through it.
What advice would you give to today's nursing students?
Learn the basics. There are so many varied fields; find the specialty you want to work in.
It is important that nurses keep up with the field of nursing, even when they are done with clinical work.
Continue to grow; remember that education doesn’t end when you get out of school.