Our Nurse of the Week is Donna Manning, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), who is now giving back to her university and profession after finding her calling. After coming close to quitting nursing school in her final year, Manning pushed through and finished her degree, and pursued a career in oncology nursing that she came to love. Now, Manning’s goal is to give exceptional care without exception and to give back to the university that helped her find her passion.
When Manning could no longer afford tuition for nursing school going into her senior year, she decided that she had no option but to drop out and come back in a year. She arrived at the registrar’s office to withdraw, but the woman at the front desk gave her advice that changed the course of Manning’s life. The women told her: “They never come back. Don’t withdraw. Figure out a way.”
And that’s what Manning did. She asked her parents for help getting a car so that she could work and pay tuition, and she completed her nursing degree a year later. Now in a position to change the lives of others, Manning makes an effort to pay it forward in any way she can. She tells UML.edu, “My education at UMass Lowell instilled the important of ongoing education and lifelong learning. We are both inspired to give to keep public education affordable and give students the tools they need to thrive.”
Manning considered pursuing nursing management early in her career and earned an MBA at UMass Lowell in preparation but her hospital later merged with Boston City Hospital to become Boston Medical Center and she decided to stay with her oncology patients. Her husband also earned a business degree from UML and the couple have since funded endowed scholarships for students majoring in nursing and business, a global health initiative for nursing students, nursing simulation labs, teaching excellence awards, and donations to multiple capital projects.
Grateful for an education that allowed her to pursue her passion to help others, Manning plans to continue giving back to the university where her career started while giving back to her patients on a day-to-day basis. To learn more about Donna Manning and her career as an oncology nurse, visit here.
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