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Waubonsee Featured Student Follows Heart into Nursing

Kati Sibenaller

Kati Sibenaller grew up wanting to work in health care, but after graduating from high school, she didn’t feel ready for college and so those dreams were sidelined until she was inspired by the dedicated nurses who helped her through a high risk pregnancy and the delivery of her son.

Today, the Yorkville resident is finishing up her nursing degree at Waubonsee Community College and is thrilled to be gaining clinical experience this fall at Delnor Hospital in obstetrics. She plans to complete her Associate in Science in Nursing in March, and then continue her path to advanced nursing degrees, and a career in that field. She hopes to eventually work in obstetrics or in pediatrics.

For her passion for nursing and her energetic engagement in student life at Waubonsee, Sibenaller is this month’s Waubonsee Student Success: Featured Student.

“I had my son three years ago and because I was high risk, I saw my nurses twice a week for the last six weeks,” she said. “They became my best friends and it really made me want to be there to do that for someone else. They really inspired me.”

Shortly after the birth of her son, her husband convinced her to pursue the degree she’d always wanted. She began taking classes online at Waubonsee in the summer of 2013.

Today, she is one of the lucky students who gets to complete their studies in Waubonsee’s newly renovated Aurora Fox Valley Campus, which is now home to the college’s health care programs. With an emphasis on providing students with hands-on learning and simulated medical environments, Sibenaller said each class feels like an adventure.

“There is so much effort that went into making these labs what they are, and our teachers are so into it, that it makes it very exciting and cool,” she said. “They are able to use the mannequins to simulate every possible situation we’ll encounter in our clinical or jobs.”

In addition to her studies, Sibenaller is president of the Student Nurse Association, is a member of Alpha Delta Nu and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies and is involved in the Leadership Society.

“I like to stay busy,” she explained. “When I decided to go quit my job in pharmaceuticals and go back to school, I decided I was going to excel. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t for nothing.”

Sibenaller said her hard work has paid off, as she is the grateful recipient of many grants and scholarships from the college and community.

“We’ve gotten so much help, it’s truly amazing,” she said. “It really does take a village.”

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