BY JACINTA DYKE
“You never know where God is going to call you, but He will always put you where you will be able to serve people,” said Catherine Recznik, RN, MSN, CEN, a new addition to the teaching staff of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s highly-competitive nursing program.
Recznik, a 25-year-old graduate of Franciscan, is no stranger to serving people. Before returning to the University this fall as an associate professor of nursing, she spent her time caring for patients in the emergency rooms of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s St. Margaret and Wheeling hospitals.
“Even when it is really crazy, I just think ‘Wow, I’m helping people who really need my help,'” Recznik said of her emergency room work experience. “I can definitely see God’s plan in the situations I end up in.”
Recznik left none of her passion for service behind when she entered the teaching field this semester. Although she originally pursued her undergraduate degree at Franciscan solely to serve as a nurse, she realized two semesters into her graduate studies that she wanted to consider teaching.
“I sat in on an education class one day and I realized, ‘this is exactly what I want to do with my whole life. I want to teach,'” Recznik recalled. “So I really did make teaching my focus in the different things that I did, even within my job at the ER.”
There is little downtime for Recznik with her busy new position. In addition to teaching labs, off-site clinicals, and Simulation and Leadership and Management Processes in the Practice of Nursing, she is also co-developing a new spring course named Mission Readiness, geared toward preparing students for mission trips. During spring break, she will be accompanying the Ecuador mission trip as a medic.
A full schedule does not hinder Recznik from caring about the individual development of each student, however.
“My favorite part of teaching nursing is when the whole picture clicks with a student.” Recznik said. “Not just the concept that we’re learning, but also the physical skill and the compassion of Christ all in one.”
Recznik believes that it is very important to teach nursing from a Catholic perspective.
“Nursing is a vocation, a calling to serve Christ in other people,” she said. “If you are someone who believes that your soul lasts and is going to Heaven, there is a huge difference in how you treat the body, care for the body, and interact with the patient in the last moments of his life. You can learn that at a secular school if you really work at it, but to have that influence from the beginning is so important. You’ll be a better nurse and be better at being Christ to others.”
When she is not teaching nursing, Recznik, a longtime Steubenville local, can be found helping with the music and the youth group in the faith community, as well as spending time with her family and watching NCIS.