Nursing Success Stories

Josie Vernon

Josie Dotson (née Vernon) attended Muskingum University from 2013-2017. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in the Bachelors of Science in Nursing program. Josie chose Muskingum for her undergraduate degree because she loved the small class sizes and community feeling she found when walking around the campus. While at Muskingum she participated in Nursing Student Organization and the Commuter Student Organization. Josie “felt like all of my professors in the nursing program were dedicated to ensuring I not only passed the NCLEX, but became a well-rounded, knowledgeable,  and caring nurse.” After graduation Josie began working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. After getting married, she and her husband moved to Dayton, Ohio. While there, Josie worked in the NICU in one of the community hospitals. She returned to Riverside Methodist Hospital when she started her graduate program. Josie attended Wright State University’s Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program and graduated with a Masters in Science December 2022. She now works as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner for Nationwide Children’s Hospital at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

My job allows me to attend births and resuscitate 22-to-42-week infants, perform high-risk procedures, develop and manage care plans for NICU patients, and educate and support staff/families along the way. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing job where I make a difference in babies’ lives every day. It is stressful, difficult, beautiful, and sometimes tragic- but mostly amazing. I look forward to my continued development in this new role and hope in future years I can go on mission trips to educate and provide resources to communities in need. I am excited to announce my family will be growing this December with the birth of our first little girl. I am very grateful for the education and support I received at Muskingum, and really believe the quality of that education helped me jump start my nursing career.


Jordan Youngs

Jordan Youngs attended Muskingum University from 2015 to 2019 earning a BS in Nursing with a Biology minor. She was a member of the volleyball team for 4 years and got the honor of being a captain her junior and senior years! She was active in the Nursing Student Organization, FAD sorority, Lambda Sigma Juniors Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Senior Honor Society, and the Beta Beta Beta Honors Society. Jordan also worked as a tutor for Anatomy and Physiology and in the nursing lab. After graduation, Jordan returned to Youngstown, Ohio. She worked at St. Elizabeth's Mercy Health Hospital. She started her career on a telemetry unit and during the COVID-19 pandemic found her calling in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Currently, Jordan is working at Akron City Hospital in the Medical ICU. She states, “ I love my job and my coworkers there very much!”  Jordan has been accepted to Youngstown State University’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program.  “Starting this career has always been a dream of mine so I am very eager to start this journey.”

Life has been beautifully crazy, and I can graciously say I continue to learn something new every day. When I am not at work or doing schoolwork, I am with my friends and family, outside, working out or finding my recipes to bake in the kitchen! I am thankful every day for the education I received at Muskingum University because it has truly shaped me into the nurse I am today. GO MUSKIES!


Photo Candy Thorpe

Candy Thorpe attended Muskingum University from 2008-2012 earning a BS in nursing. While at Muskingum she served as president and fundraiser chair of the XAN club and was involved in several other extracurricular activities and clubs. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Cincinnati with her Masters in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner degree. Since then she has specialized in gastroenterology. She currently works in Fayetteville, North Carolina with a gastroenterology practice managing inpatient GI consultations. Her husband Kyle is currently stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and they will be relocating to Fort Benning, Georgia. Her and Kyle have two children Eli and Amelia who are 3 and 1 respectively. They enjoy spending time outdoors, traveling, spending time with family, riding their Harley and cooking. 

Karissa knox

Karissa R. Knox attended Muskingum University from 2010-2014 graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. After graduation, her nursing career started in Zanesville at Genesis Healthcare System in the Cardiovascular Intermediate Care Unit in September of 2014. In 2016, Karissa transitioned to critical care nursing, specializing in cardiovascular intensive care, in Winston-Salem, NC. 2018 led Karissa to Florida and Tampa General Hospital in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit until 2020 when Karissa was devoted to travel nursing. During her time as a travel nurse, Karissa traveled to Long Island, New York, St. Petersburg, FL and Albuquerque, NM to assist with the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for ICU nurses. For the last four and a half years of her nursing career, Karissa has utilized specialized training essential to critical care nursing to care for patients requiring Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT), temporary cardiac support devices such as Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump or Impella, durable ventricular assist devices, and therapeutic hypothermia due to cardiac arrest. Karissa has returned to Florida, working within the Coronary ICU at Tampa General Hospital again but as of May 2021, Karissa will be starting a new endeavor and pursuing a Doctor of Nursing degree in Nurse Anesthesia at The University of South Florida in Tampa. Karissa wants to thank all of the Muskingum University Department of Nursing faculty for their endless support.

Francesca Stefano Science Division Student of the Month for March 2021

Francesca Stefano is a senior nursing major from Connellsville, Pennsylvania. During her four years on campus, she has participated as a student-athlete on the women’s softball team, where she catches and plays outfield. Francesca is also a member of the Nursing Student Organization and Lambda Sigma Honor Society. For her senior year, she is currently working on a research project dealing with the mental health implications of COVID-19 on health care workers. After graduation, Francesca plans to obtain a nursing job in pediatrics. It is her long-term goal, after some experience in the field, to go back to school to further her education.

All-OAC Scholar-Athletes in Nursing

nursing athletes

Please join the MU Nursing faculty & staff in congratulating the student-athletes below on being named All-OAC Scholar Athletes for academic year 2019-2020! Congratulations, Ehlana (Track & Field), Francesca (Softball) and Haley (Softball)!

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