Kate Dzurilla | Neuroscience | Psychology

From: Syosset, NY

Pomona Days: Class of 2011, Neuroscience (minor in Psychology)

Current Education: I obtained my BSN from Columbia University School of Nursing in 2016. I’m currently a graduate student at Yale School of Nursing in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program and will graduate with my MSN in 2018

Past Employment: I worked from June 2011-June 2012 as a sales associate at Nordstrom. From July 2012-April 2014, I worked at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX as a research assistant/coordinator on a study examining access to care using Patient Navigators in HIV-positive, drug-abusing inpatients at Parkland Hospital. From April 2014 to May 2015, I worked at UT Southwestern Medical Center as a clinical research coordinator in the Pulmonary and Critical Care department where I coordinated clinical trials for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.


Throughout my time at Pomona, I thought I wanted to obtain a PhD in Clinical Psychology to see patients for therapy and perform research. Late in my college career, after multiple summers already spent working in labs and after applying to graduate schools, I realized the career wasn’t for me. I knew I wanted to work with patients and I knew that I liked science, but I didn’t know what career options were available to me besides medical school to obtain an MD or graduate school to obtain a PhD, neither of which felt right to me. I was scared that I was changing paths so late after devoting so much time and energy into clinical psychology throughout college. In my career research, I came across mid-level practitioners like Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. I knew that the combination of less school, fewer loans, great work-life balance, and good compensation while being involved in direct patient care made becoming a Nurse Practitioner the right career path for me.

I would particularly love to help students who are interested in clinical research and healthcare, and especially students who are interested in alternative health care careers. I can also help students who may be having trouble choosing their next steps. Sometimes there are career options that you just haven’t yet come across that may be the perfect fit for you. It’s never too late to change your goals or career path, and there is never a wrong decision!