Altruism and compassion are two reasons why this senior nursing major was honored with a service award from the SSJs…

Community Shoutout

Jackie Soucia ’18, a senior nursing major and student athlete here at Elms, received the Sisters of St. Joseph Service Award at the college’s annual honors convocation ceremony on May 4, 2018. The accolade is granted to a student each year who exemplifies altruism, compassion, and the charism that the SSJs are known for–uniting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God, without distinction.

Photo of Jackie Soucia, winner of the 2018 Sisters of St. Joseph Service Award

A native of Belchertown, MA, Jackie was a time management virtuoso at Elms. In addition to successfully managing clinical rotations as a nursing major, she also demonstrated excellence as an athlete in both soccer and lacrosse, as a member of the Student Nurses Association and Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and as a home health aide with Trinity Health of New England at Home. In February 2018, she volunteered to go on a medical mission trip to Jamaica, where she assisted in delivering vital care to residents of rural areas.

Putting Patients’ Minds at Ease

Empathy lies at the heart of Jackie’s nursing practice and guides her patient interactions. “People are more comfortable, and they heal more quickly, if they have trust,” she said.

As a Type 1 diabetic, Jackie discovered that she could ease her patients’ burdens and fears by sharing this part of her life with them.

“People are a lot more comfortable when they know that I have given a thousand shots instead of one, and that I know the pain of finger pricks and blood sugar being high or low,” she said.

'People are more comfortable, and they heal more quickly, if they have trust.'

This compassionate work ethic has made a significant impression on her colleagues and mentors, too.

“I admire her compassion, empathy, and ability to leave her patients better than she found them,” said Molly Sullivan ’18, a fellow nursing major who often worked with Jackie in clinical rotations. “Each and every day, Jackie inspires her peers to give their best and serves as a role model to others.”

“Jackie exemplifies the charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph in so many ways: being present to patients and classmates, working outside her comfort zone, always showing love of God and love of neighbor,” said Sr. Carol Allan, SSJ, director of Campus Ministry at Elms. “I have known Jackie since coming to Elms, and I have always been impressed with her dedication to studies and athletics. She will be a partner on the SSJ mission for years to come.”

New England’s Newest Nurse

After graduation, Jackie successfully passed the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse) exam. With her Registered Nurse (RN) credential in hand, she moved to the Boston area where she began working as a nurse at HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital. As the newest member of the brain injury and neurological disorders floor, she is excited to be starting her career as a nurse.

Even though Jackie is no longer on campus, it’s clear that her time at Elms will stay with her, especially when it comes to her faith.

“Faith is a big pillar for me,” she said. “I couldn’t do what I do without God.”

Elms encourages its students to use their education in creative ways, connecting the principles of faith, community, justice, and excellence in order to make a positive impact on the world around us. If Jackie’s story resonates with your career goals and aspirations — or inspires you to begin your journey in a similar way — contact us or schedule a campus visit to learn more.