Loyola Student Nurse Shines as Star Athlete
When she is not busy with clinicals and exams, nursing student Lauren Zaworski can be found on the softball field as a member of the Loyola University Chicago women’s team.
“Because of the demanding time constraints of clinicals and class work, student athletes are rare in nursing,” said Nancy S. Hogan, PhD, RN, FAAN, distinguished professor and associate dean for research, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. “However, Lauren is a model student and a great athlete who has the discipline and drive to balance it all.”
As an outfielder, Zaworski travels extensively with her team, which on April 24 was 23-15 for the season and second in the Horizon League. Her batting average was .340, with three home runs and 16 RBIs. Zaworski also led the team with nine doubles making this her best softball season at Loyola.
Off the field, Zaworski was named to the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll. She also was nominated for the Academic All-District Team of accomplished student-athletes with a 3.3 GPA or higher for the school year. The National Fastpitch Coaches Association also named her an All-America Scholar-Athlete in 2011, which requires a 3.5 GPA or higher.
“The nursing program is so challenging and a student athlete’s time is stretched with training, traveling, playing, and community service,” said Bill Behrns, assistant athletic director for communications, Loyola University Chicago. “Lauren is a remarkable kid who has been able to accomplish success both on and off the playing field. This is a testament to her strong work ethic and organizational and time-management skills.”
Most universities do not allow nursing students to participate in sports. However, Zaworski was drawn to Loyola for the resources that make it possible to do both.
“My coaches are flexible and stress that I am a student first and an athlete second,” Zaworski said. “I am grateful that they have allowed me to play while supporting my passion for nursing.”
On the days that Zaworski has clinicals, she reports to an area hospital at 5 a.m. and works until 3 p.m. She then attends practice or a game until 6 p.m. before completing a few hours of homework at night. This leaves little room for down time, but Zaworski feels lucky to be involved with both and believes her experience as a student-athlete will prepare her well for nursing.
“High-intensity situations are common in college athletics,” Zaworski said. “Softball has taught me to be calm under pressure, which will serve me well as a nurse.”
Zaworski’s nursing skills recently came into play when a teammate broke her nose and suffered a concussion on the field.
“My teammates turned to me for help, so I ran to get medical equipment to assist the athletic trainer,” Zaworski said. “Helping others and having compassion are among the reasons I chose nursing. These skills have come in handy both on the field and at the bedside.”
More Featured Stories
RecognitionHundreds of faculty members turned out Sunday at the Mundelein Center Auditorium for the 2014 Faculty Convocation to celebrate the official opening of the school year.
Adult LearnersStarting in 2015, Loyola will offer several FASTRACK degree programs for adult learners at its Cuneo Mansion & Gardens in Vernon Hills. Courses will be on alternating Saturdays with an online component—perfect for anyone looking to balance work, life, and school.
Health SciencesThe Stritch School of Medicine welcomed more than 200 alumni and guests back to campus for the 2014 Stritch Reunion Weekend, where it also recognized five outstanding alumni.
What’s next?In today’s economy, recent college graduates face fierce competition for jobs. These three members of the Class of 2014, however, were able to stand out from the crowd and find full-time jobs.
Helping othersFour Loyola graduate students were recently selected for the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program and will spend the next year working on healthcare-related projects to help underserved communities in Chicago.
VideosThe service of faith and the promotion of justice is the mission of the Society of Jesus. Our 2014 Founders’ Dinner awards recipients are among the best and brightest examples of living out these Jesuit ideals.
QuinlanWhen Quinlan professors deliver, they deliver—and Michael Hewitt knows how to do that better than just about anyone else. Hewitt, an assistant professor of supply chain management at Quinlan, is leading new research to help companies decrease shipping times in order to increase profits.
SustainabilityLoyola is ranked No. 4 on the Sierra Club’s 2014 list of the greenest colleges in America. The annual rankings are designed to spotlight universities that are deeply committed to environmental responsibility.
AcademicsLoyola is one of just 283 universities to have a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, a claim that only about 10 percent of the nation’s colleges can make.
In the newsLoyola’s Information Commons joins an elite group of peers on Business Insider’s list of the “coolest” college libraries in the country.
ExploreThe Institute of Environmental Sustainability combines academics and research with agriculture and community living—all in one facility.
Damen CenterThe Damen Center was designed from top to bottom with students in mind, making it the center of social life on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.