COTC Nursing Student Sam Gastaldo Achieving Dream by Taking Path2BSN

NEWARK, Ohio, Dec. 3, 2018 – Sam Gastaldo's determination to become a nurse sent her down an unexpected path. As a pre-nursing student at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, she was told about a program called the Path2BSN. After talking to a Path2BSN advisor, Gastaldo knew it was the right option for her. She chose Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), one of several Ohio State College of Nursing partners, to help her achieve her dream.

COTC's Path2BSN partnership with The Ohio State College of Nursing provides a clear path for students in COTC's associate degree nursing program to transfer seamlessly into Ohio State's online RN to BSN program . It prepares COTC students with Ohio State-approved courses to enable a transfer that avoids overlap or loss of credits.

"I believe that I was meant to become a nurse. I realized that everyone's path may look slightly different," said Gastaldo. "I chose COTC because it is affordable, fast-paced and has a good reputation. All of the advisors that I have worked with at both schools have made the transition process very smooth for me."Image

She was inspired by several family members to become a nurse because of the field's various specialty options, job security and the opportunity to save lives.

"There are so many different types of nurses including pediatric, geriatric, cardiovascular, critical, travel and more. There is also the option to become an instructor or to continue my education with a master's degree," said Gastaldo. "To say the least, there is always something new to learn in this profession."

Gastaldo has enjoyed her COTC experience. The hands-on skill development on the same equipment that is used by nurses in hospitals has helped her to understand what the medical environment will be like after she completes her COTC and Ohio State degrees. She also gets to use what she is learning in COTC's state-of-the-art labs in her clinical rotations required by the COTC nursing program.

"My favorite thing has been our skills labs where we learn to perform skills like how to start an IV," said Gastaldo. "Once we learn a skill and are able to successfully demonstrate it to an instructor, we can perform the skill in the clinical setting. Also, all of the COTC instructors are very experienced and passionate about helping students succeed."

Gastaldo is finishing her third semester in COTC's nursing program with the intention to graduate in spring of 2019. She will also begin Ohio State's online RN to BSN program in spring of 2019.

Current COTC students interested in the Path2BSN should email for next steps on establishing their individualized curriculum plan to progress into Ohio State's online RN to BSN program. They will receive program requirements and registration information and will be assigned a semester window to apply to the RN to BSN program. Students work with both a COTC and a Path2BSN advisor to schedule the courses they need to earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) at COTC and additional courses that will fulfill prerequisite requirements for Ohio State.

The associate degree nursing curriculum at COTC provides a balance of general education and nursing courses. Carefully planned clinical laboratory experiences are an integral part of all nursing courses and encompass caring for all age groups in various patient care settings. Affiliated health care facilities in central and east-central Ohio are utilized to provide clinical experiences.

COTC offers nursing opportunities in: Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) - COTC graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing Technology with this traditional five-semester plan of study making eligible to take the NCLEX-RN to become a certified RN.; Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to ADN Transition - COTC offers a three-semester advanced placement option for LPNs; and one-year certificate programs making students eligible to test to become a certified LPN or State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA).

The nursing program at COTC is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing and is dual accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (NLN CNEA).

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala. 

Caption: (l to r) Ohio State Nursing Dean Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Ph.D., RN, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, COTC Path2BSN student Sam Gastaldo and COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D.