Graduation is a time for reflection, but for many graduates, it’s also a time of anxiety. As the celebration fades, the intimidating reality of entering the workforce comes quickly into focus.
It’s a feeling that even Distinguished Alumna Jill Schramm felt upon graduating in 2006 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree from UCCS. “It’s a very scary thing to walk out as a new graduate,” Schramm said.
But as Schramm began her career as a family nurse practitioner, she was able to overcome any anxiety with the help of her support system at UCCS. “I had amazing faculty here at UCCS that were also amazing clinicians that helped me be able to walk out and confidently walk into a clinic and take care of patients safely.”
Schramm has built on that confidence, adding a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from UCCS in 2009 and becoming a nationally recognized speaker on diabetes and chronic disease. She spent eight years in Fort Carson, Colorado, as the Chief of the Disease Management Clinic at Evans Army Community Hospital, where she greatly expanded diabetes services in the Colorado Springs Military Health System. She now works as an endocrine nurse practitioner at Monument Health Endocrine Services in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Schramm credits her support system and hopes that UCCS alumni will provide a similar safety net for the next generation of graduating students. “They really need to be there as mentors, and take students and new grads under their wing, and be there as a resource as they navigate their career,” she said. “I think it helped me become a more rounded person and a solid clinician when I came out of school.”
Jill Schramm is a distinguished alumnus who delivered the fall 2021 commencement keynote speech. View a list of other notable alumni here.