Chris LaPietra ’08Registered Nurse, BSN

Becoming a nurse was an easy decision for Chris LaPietra ’08. At the age of 10, Chris was diagnosed with cancer. He says, “My doctors were amazing, but the people that I saw take care of me day-in and day-out were the nurses. That made a big impact on my little brain.”

Chris chose the nursing program at Colby-Sawyer College so that he could do his clinicals at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). “It is such a large hospital with so many clinical areas. You get lots of different experiences and perform and observe things you may not see in other hospitals,” said Chris. Of course, receiving a free season’s pass to Mount Sunapee also helped seal the deal for Chris during decision-making time as well. He says, “The ski pass was awesome!”

While at CSC, Chris took part in the golf club as and played intramural floor hockey, basketball and football. He did his externship in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit at DHMC with his preceptor, Heather. He said, “She was the best. I would work her schedule and she treated me like I was already on the staff. I would get patient assignments and be their nurse. I would work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays as an EMT in Boston and then drive back to CSC on Thursday morning. I would take a nap in the dorm, have clinicals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and then return back to Boston for my EMT shift.”

Chris loves being a nurse and having the knowledge of a medical background. He says the most challenging part of being a nurse is managing people who do not think the medical staff cares. “When we ask you to wait in the family room, it is not because we don’t care about you. It is because we need to focus on your family member, our patient, and number one concern,” Chris says.

Chris is currently an RN, BSN at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Va. He lives in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife, Amanda, and dog Tuukka. He enjoys going to the gym, playing golf, playing with Tuuka and going to the beach.