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06/08/2018

Unique Clinical Experiences Kickstart Alumna’s Career

UHart's community outreach program 'Project Horizon' helped Daileann Hemmings become a better nurse.

Clinical hands-on experience is essential to become a good nurse. At the University of Hartford, students gain that from experts at local hospitals but also by participating in our unique long- community outreach program, Project Horizon. As one of the only programs of its kind in the Northeast, students volunteer weekly at local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and schools to help people who don’t have access to health care. 

For alumna Daileann Hemmings ’06, M’11 Project Horizon was a life-changing experience that helped her become a better nurse. 

“Through the program, I learned to think outside of the plan and to become a different nurse for each patient based on their needs,” Hemmings says. 

Hemmings volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Hartford, Conn., helping the children gain self-esteem through creative programs and team-building exercises.

Her multifaceted skills helped Hemmings land a job as a traveling nurse right after college. She worked for hospitals around the United States, including in Atlanta and Baltimore. Soon after, her path led her back to UHart.

With strong encouragement from her former advisor and mentor Karen Breda, associate professor of nursing and program director, Hemmings decided to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing. Through her studies, she participated in a three-week study-abroad trip to Australia, where she learned about international nursing practices.

“The program at UHart is phenomenal and the faculty really want you to advance,” Hemmings says.

To help other nurses become better leaders, Hemmings taught at the University of Hartford for a while and she now works as a team leader for Community Health Network of Connecticut. She is also a part of an internship research team that focuses on stigma and uncertainty for sickle cell disease, which causes red blood cells to become misshapen.

“Any student at UHart will gain life-changing experiences that can effect generations to come,” Hemmings says.