Alumni Profile: Tiffany Rivenburgh

Hometown: Earlville, NY
Graduation Year: May 2007

Why did you choose to attend Morrisville?

“I chose to attend Morrisville State College because of their impeccable reputation for nursing education. I knew this, because I grew up in Morrisville and have known many alumni of this program. I was living in Albuquerque when I decided I wanted to be a nurse, so I moved my family back here so I could go to MSC.”

What did you do after leaving Morrisville? What are you doing now?

“After leaving Morrisville, my family and I moved to Chicago where I was a PACU (Post-anesthesia Care Unit) nurse. We then moved to Dallas where I worked as an RN (Registered Nurse) for Ambulatory Administration in the Float Pool for UT Southwestern. It was then that I felt the need to further my education. I was accepted to the Louis Harrington School of Nursing at Baylor for their MSN FNP (Masters in Nursing Science Family Nurse Practitioner) program. While there I focused on ‘Low Resource Management.’ After completing my residency, I decided to move my family back to Central New York because I wanted to serve the community that had given me so much. I now practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner in Norwich, NY. I diagnose and treat patients across the lifespan for disease and disease prevention.”

How did your education at Morrisville get you to where you are today?

“My education at Morrisville has been the keystone of my professional life. It was at Morrisville that I realized the best way to learn is by doing. You have to practice, practice, practice to become good at something. You also need good mentoring. Morrisville offered plenty of good experiences with clinical rotations, hands on labs, and plenty of excellent mentors.”

What do you like about your profession?

“I love being a nurse because I get to bear witness to the very best parts and the very worst parts of being a human. I am forever fascinated by the evolving world of medicine. I love being a part of all of it. Whether it’s holding the hand of someone in pain, or teaching someone how to control their diabetes, or diagnosing and treating someone’s illness… I love every bit of it.”

What professor and/or staff member influenced you?

“There are so many staff and instructors at Morrisville who influenced me, I have at least one pearl of wisdom from each of them. If I had to choose one, it would be Marilyn Caldwell. She was as tough as nails for lectures and tests, but she was passionate about what she was doing and had a lot of knowledge to share with us ‘baby nurses.’

I remember she once told us, “Your education does not stop with your Associates Degree in Nursing at Morrisville State College. You will need to continue to grow professionally.” At the time, I didn’t believe her, mostly because I just wanted to hurry up and get done with school! I just wanted to work for a living! It was only after I started working as a nurse that I fully understood what she meant. MSC produces leaders, not just workers. Leaders are not content to be idle professionally. In order to stay ahead, stay current, and grow in your field… you need to be a lifelong learner.”

What was Morrisville like when you were attending?

“Morrisville, the village, is much the same as it was when I lived there. (That’s one of the reasons I love it.) The Copper Turret was brand new during my time there. MSC is ever changing and updating with the latest and greatest technology though. I am always excited to see the new offerings and building endeavors in the alumni newsletter. I have had the opportunity to see sporting events at Drake Field. It’s amazing!”

What is your favorite memory of Morrisville?

“My favorite memory of my time at MSC, is having lunch with my nursing friends at The Fort on Tuesday afternoons after tests. We would eat, drink, laugh and commiserate about the rigors of nursing school.”

Were you involved in any clubs, organizations, activities or sports while at Morrisville?

“I was involved in the Student Nurses Association, but sadly no sports. But I am a big fan of Mustang sports, especially field hockey!”

What advice would you give current students?

“My advice for any student, in any field, is to make the most of any experience offered to you. You are responsible for your own learning. Instructors cannot simply pour information and knowledge into you like a vessel. You have to seek the knowledge out, explore it and figure out why it matters to you so you can remember it and apply it. Take every opportunity you can find for extra experiences. Do internships. Find mentors who can help you navigate the field, and surround yourself with resourceful and intelligent people. And most importantly… Never stop learning after graduation.”