CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 5

5

G R A D U AT I O N

&

C O N V O C AT I O N 2 0 2 0

" Since the age of five, I knew I was interested in medicine - specifically advanced care, but didn't know which path or specialty to
take, " recalled Poliakon, who comes from a long line of nurses and
health care professionals. In fact, five generations of women in her
family have been nurse assistants or nurses. Initially, Poliakon chose
to pursue Biomedical Science, and had a full-ride scholarship from the
Boettcher Foundation to attend any Colorado college or university. As
the second of only two Boettcher Scholars from Byers, a small town 50
miles east of Denver, she felt honored to be nominated and selected.

ONE OF THE YOUNGEST IN HER UCAN COHORT

Andrea Poliakon
celebrates earning
her bachelor's
degree from
UCCS in 2019

During the last year of her bachelor's degree at UCCS, she figured out
that she wanted to be a nurse. " By that time, it was too late to change
majors as it would have affected my scholarship. " Advised to complete
her degree and follow up with an accelerated nursing program, she
started at the University of Colorado College of Nursing Accelerated
Nursing (UCAN) program only a few months after graduation - becoming one of the youngest students in the class. UCAN traditionally
attracts students who obtained degrees in other fields than nursing,
have been working for a while, and have decided to return to school
for a nursing degree.

Babies are
Andrea's passion

What Do You Do on Friday
Nights? One Student
Helped Premature
Babies Fight for Life

" I loved the UCAN program. It was an amazing
learning experience. " Even though Poliakon was
nervous about the speed with which the concepts
were going to be delivered, " I think the concentrated learning actually helped focus my attention.
And the faculty did a great job of reinforcing key
concepts. "
Ready to start her career, Poliakon is preparing for
her NCLEX and applying for positions including
one at Children's Colorado NICU where she can
harness her passion for newborns.

By Dana Brandorff

M

SINCE 1952,

ost college students spend their Friday nights socializing and winding down from a long week of studying, not in a Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit (NICU) cuddling babies. Andrea Poliakon is not like most
students. During her undergraduate program at the University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, you could find the Biomedical Sciences major shadowing
nurse practitioners and physicians, volunteering as a newborn hearing screener,
or cuddling the babies on a Friday night in Memorial Hospital's NICU.

has awarded approximately $100 million

IT'S SCIENCE: CUDDLING CHANGES A BABY'S DNA

That translates to more than 2,600 current

" Turns out cuddling babies is really important. Studies prove that cuddling
changes their biology, and is good for them developmentally, " said Poliakon.
When a baby is ill and in the NICU fighting for its life and unable to have that
bonding time with their parents, human contact (or lack of) can affect them for
years to come. " It was an awesome experience. " For Poliakon, it solidified her
passion for nursing.

and alumni Boettcher scholars. Annually,

T H E B O E T T C H E R F O U N DAT I O N ...

in undergraduate scholarships to many of
Colorado's best and brightest students.

more than 1,500 students apply for the 42
available Boettcher Scholarships.



CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020

CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 2
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 3
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 4
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 5
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 6
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 7
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 8
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 9
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 10
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 11
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 12
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 13
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 14
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - 15
CU Nursing - Commencement December 2020 - Cover4
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