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Katherine Henao ’14

Currently pursuing advanced degree:
Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Masters of Nursing Program

Pine Manor College, Biology Major and National Science Foundation BioScholar

East Boston High School, East Boston, MA

Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner with contributions to Clinical Research

“I chose Pine Manor College because it is a small and warm community that focuses on one student at a time. The college’s liberal arts foundation was an important tool in the progress of my career because it helped me to develop skills within the community where I found my true passion to help others. “

Life After Graduation

After I graduated, I continued discussing my career path with my Pine Manor mentor-advisor and I decided to apply to graduate schools for my Master in Nursing Science to become a Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner. I was busy preparing applications and taking a few required courses. I also earned my certificate as a Nurse Assistant and Home Health Aide. I am currently working as nurse assistant at Genesis Healthcare where I am gaining clinical skills. I am also a Home Health Aide which is a rewarding experience. My goal is to become a nurse practitioner and develop clinical research. I also hope to be a strong advocate for my patients.

My senior internship made an impact on my career plans. I completed my internship in the research laboratory of Dr. Laura Liscum at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences on the Tufts Medical Campus. I had the opportunity to do research in Niemman- Pick (NP) disease, an inherited metabolic disorder recognized as a lipid storage disease. Every single day presented me with a first-hand chance to learn skills and apply knowledge from the scientific literature I was reading. I will always be grateful to the courses and faculty in the Pine Manor Biology Program because they introduced me to scientific literature. From Day 1 at my internship, I was reinforcing and using what I had learned in school. This research internship was exciting and relevant for me because the work was directly tied to a specific clinical disease. The experience was not only rewarding and challenging, it showed me the value of research and allowed me to decide that I wanted to be a Nurse Practitioner who participates in clinical research.

During the internship, I was able to observe, learn and apply knowledge and continue to learn how to think critically in a logical and systematic manner. I was highly motivated, and I took advantage of the daily mentoring I was receiving from the director of the lab, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. It was impressed upon me that I conduct my research by always reasoning critically through each result and trying to find further solutions to move forward. In health care, critical thinking is an essential skill for the application of knowledge that leads ultimately to making crucial decisions about a patient’s health.

How PMC Helped Me

“If I did it, you can do it!”

“My recommendation for high school students is that they shouldn’t be afraid to go to college even if English is their second language. You will be a successful student and you will build an amazing career path in health care or the biomedical sciences at Pine Manor College. Pine Manor will help you to succeed as a student and as a person. Personally, when I graduated from high school I did not speak or write English well. I assumed I wouldn’t make it throughout college. But I took a step forward and I decided to take the challenge and I DO NOT REGRET it. Pine Manor opened many doors to my career path and helped me to succeed as a student. They became my second family which I will never leave. Pine Manor College helped me to achieve a dream and move further with my career education. They helped me to be a successful and focused student and I am thankful to be part of this amazing community.”

“Pine Manor helped me develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. This has started me down a life-long career path. I truly believe that Pine Manor College has great faculty members that care for students’ success. The faculty members of the Biology Program always were available to help me to succeed as a student and as a person. My major in Biology provided me with a learning experience that has set the stage for my next big step!”