Grounding at Ripon College expanded into a nursing career for Rachel Zeman ’14
A strong sense of community in the classroom and on the field inspired Rachel Zeman ’14 of Chicago, Illinois, to attend Ripon College. “When making the decision of where to attend college, Ripon College stood out because it felt like home,” she says.
“I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, and being able to work closely with faculty and build relationships with them was very important to me,” she adds.
Zeman graduated from Ripon with a degree in biology and played on the women’s soccer team, a sport she has enjoyed since elementary school. She received her master’s degree in nursing and a registered nursing license from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois — a program with which Ripon College is affiliated.
Zeman is now a labor and delivery nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and works with women and their families through the process of childbirth. “As a clinical nurse on the ward, I am continuously educating mothers about the laboring process, pushing and what is to come post-delivery,” she explains. “I also monitor their labor and tailor my care to help them progress while ensuring the safety of both mother and baby.”
Zeman also provides post-delivery care and is a certified breastfeeding counselor. She is scheduled to complete her clinical nurse leadership certification this spring, which will provide further paths she can pursue in her nursing career.
“Although my days are long, my job as a labor and delivery nurse is incredibly rewarding,” she says.
Zeman says her time in Ripon’s biology department has proven beneficial to her current career, and she believes her studies gave her the background necessary to become a nurse. As a biology major, she learned how to work in a lab, write in-depth research papers, delve into theoretical concepts and explore aspects of the human body, surrounding environment and the interrelationship between the two.
“I would not change one thing about what I studied at Ripon College,” Zeman says. “Majoring in biology was extremely important and beneficial for my career. All of these aspects have shaped me to be the nurse I am today, but also continue — now and in the future — to guide my practice as the roots of nursing science.”
Dakota Marlega ’21