Daytona Student Finds Passion For Healthcare After Military Experience
Clifton Abreu, of Keiser University Daytona, is a third semester nursing student and top of his class. He was also recently elected as President of Daytona campus’ Student Nursing Association (SNA), but before that he spent ten years in the military and came out of his service with a deep appreciation for the healthcare field. After switching directions from an engineering degree that he didn’t feel connected with, Abreu found Keiser University’s Associate of Science in Nursing degree program.
While deployed, Abreu said that he witnessed the lifesaving skills of trauma nurses and felt a call to do the same. He enrolled at Keiser University not quite knowing where he would fit in, but quickly found his calling in the acute care department, which he credits to his time in the military.
“Once you get into the program you will really find what suits you best,” Abreu said. “The students and the professors are truly there for you, and that’s what drove me here.”
Abreu fostered his passion for both acute care and maternity care with the help of professors such as Dr. Greene and Professor Sword, who assisted Abreu with their real-world knowledge of the medical field. Their expertise and guidance have allowed Abreu to stay motivated throughout a difficult year.
“When you sit down and ask any of the professors, they are wonderful resources of information, and it sticks with you how much care and enthusiastic support that they have for you as a student,” he said. “They want to see you pass, and that drives you to become better than you were.”
As newly elected President of the SNA, Abreu said that he is looking forward to continuing the association’s great events with the community. Last semester, the SNA spent over 100 hours volunteering with different community organizations and in upcoming months Abreu plans to organize events with more charities in the area.
“We fostered an environment where people can come to us and know that we are giving our time and that we care about the community. That’s the point I want to come across in becoming the new president,” Abreu said.
With only a semester and a half left of his degree program, Abreu is looking forward to putting his new knowledge to use at a hospital where he can serve acute care patients. His perspective on nursing has changed immensely during the pandemic, where he said that even as a student, he could see the dire need for more nurses in the community.
Abreu hopes that part of his legacy as SNA President will be his newly implemented mentorship program, where students at all stages of their degree program can come together for study sessions and extra practice.
Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving nearly 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associates to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and was ranked No. 11 in the U.S. in Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Reports in 2021.
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