Passionate about helping others and making a difference in their lives, Restituto Velarde, BSN ‘18, RN, found himself drawn to the nursing profession. “Being a nurse is very challenging, but at the same time very rewarding,” he said. “We help patients who require many different levels of care and that makes it exciting and enjoyable for me.”

A two-time alum from Kent State University, Restituto received his LPN to ADN in May 2017 from Kent State University Geauga and Regional Academic Center, after which he completed the 100% online RN-to-BSN program and graduated from the Kent campus in December 2018. As a student, Restituto enjoyed Kent State’s beautiful campuses and the diversity of the student body. “I chose Kent State University College of Nursing because of the quality of education it provides to its nursing students. I was impressed the average NCLEX pass rate for Kent nursing students consistently surpasses that of the national average,” said Restituto. “Plus, the college has a long history of cultivating compassionate registered nurses and I wanted to be part of that legacy. Kent State helped me discover my purpose in life.”

As incoming freshmen prepare for their first semester in college, Restituto offers the following advice: “First, be as organized as possible because if not, you will end up behind and unable to keep up with all of the quizzes, exams, projects, and readings. Second, self-care is very important in nursing school. Have productive ways

to help yourself cope with the stress.” During his schooling, Restituto reflected that he wasn’t afraid to ask his professors for help or clarification and took it upon himself to seek out resources to assist in retaining the information. “As a visual learner, I practiced NCLEX style questions online and utilized YouTube videos to reinforce what I learned in class,” said Restituto. “Understanding my personal learning style was key to my success in the nursing program.”

Restituto has worked at Summa Rehab Hospital for five years (two years as a registered nurse) and at the Cleveland Clinic Rehab Hospital in Beachwood, OH, for a little more than a year. “Rehab nursing was a field I entered by chance. I’m constantly amazed at what we are able to achieve with many of our patients,” he said. “The best part of being a rehab nurse is seeing an immobile patient leave our facility able to walk with minimal to no assistance. It feels so good knowing I am part of their recovery.”

Additionally, he is also an adjunct clinical instructor at Stark State College and Bryant and Stratton College. “As a nurse, I am always challenging myself to stay up-to-date on my skills, medical trends, and evidence-based nursing practices so that I can provide the safest and highest level of patient care,” said Restituto. “I learn something new from my patients, their families, or my colleagues every day and that inspires me to continue learning and growing as a professional nurse.”