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February 25, 2020

A Parent’s Health Crisis Led Them to a Nursing Career: Jessica Jacob ’19

Lives Changed in an Instant

“My interest in nursing began during my second year at Adelphi, when my mother became paralyzed after being hit by a drunk driver. At the time, I was a biology major interested in a different career path. But when I saw the amazing care she received from her nursing staff, it immediately drew me to the nursing field. I am currently her primary caregiver, so I practice the nursing role daily.”

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Her proudest accomplishment is being on Dean’s List each semester she’s been in the nursing program. “My grades improved dramatically” after switching to nursing. Becoming her mother’s caregiver at age 19 was not easy. And yet, she said, “I was so proud that in the hardest time of my life, my life was turned around with my newfound role as a caregiver… I was also proud of being recruited by Tylenol for their documentary about caregivers.”

Jessica Jacob in a labTylenol also awarded her a Future Care Scholarship that will enable her to pursue a master’s degree. “I would love to return to Adelphi” for that master’s degree, Jacob said, but “I’m not sure at the moment because that may depend on the hospital I end up working at.” She is interested in a master’s degree in nursing education or the nurse practitioner field, she added, “but that, too, I won’t know for certain until I actually begin working.”

She said, “Dr. Marissa Abram has been my greatest help during my nursing experience at Adelphi… She showed me that I have more potential than I believed and provided me with opportunities and by inviting me to conferences, networking events and even to join her peer mentoring program within the nursing school.”


Jacob, who graduated magna cum laude, now works in North Shore University Hospital’s critical care fellowship program, in the neurological ICU. Her dream job: “To be an ICU or ER nurse to help critical patients like the nurses who once cared for my mother”— herself a former nurse. In addition, thanks to her experiences with CNPH faculty, she said, “I would love to earn further degrees and teach students in the future.”


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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

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