Mar 15, 2011
Q&A with Michell Pascarella
Michell Pascarella is a family nurse practitioner with the Fox Cities Community Health Center.
Over the course of her career, Michell Pascarella has worked in a wide range of nursing capacities. She started working as a nursing assistant while enrolled in Fox Valley Technical College’s Nursing Associate Degree
program. Pascarella has since earned advanced degrees and worked as a registered nurse, and most recently as a certified nurse practitioner.
We caught up with Michell to learn about her career progression and why she often tells people, “I love my Tech.”
Why did you attend FVTC?
I chose Fox Valley Tech because I was eager to get a grip on my career. I graduated in 1991 with an associate degree in Nursing.
What were some of the skills you gained at FVTC, and how have they helped you in your career?
The FVTC model was very clinically focused and hands on; the instructors encouraged and sought opportunities for us. We all have much to learn in our professional journeys, but I had a solid foundation to build on when I graduated.
Did you work while attending school?
Yes, I worked as a nursing assistant in nursing homes and home care settings. I had an infant while attending FVTC, who was two when I graduated. My son provided a very clear perspective for me while in school. Having a family reminds you every day that you can and will be successful.
What was your first job after graduating, and how did your FVTC education prepare you?
I worked as a registered nurse at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh. I also worked as a registered nurse for the ThedaCare system for three years while completing my bachelor’s degree. Once I completed my master’s, I had the opportunity to grow with ThedaCare as a family nurse practitioner for an additional 12 years. FVTC taught me to always have high expectations for my clinical work and that the patient is always the focus. I have continued that level of thinking through my roles over the years.
Where do you work now?
At the Fox Cities Community Health Clinic, which is a community-based clinic that serves a broad range of patients, including the homeless, employed, unemployed, professional, uninsured, and insured. We deliver cost-effective primary and preventive services with high clinical standards that are data based.
We heard that you often say, “I love my Tech.” What does that mean?
I tell others that I am probably the most proud of my associate degree from Fox Valley Tech. I worked the hardest for that two-year degree. It provided me with the most clinically diverse and satisfying career anyone could ever ask for.
Would you recommend FVTC’s Nursing program to others?
Oh, yes! Going to Fox Valley Tech was one of the smartest decisions I ever made. It is a cost-effective way to establish a career in a condensed period of time.
Where do you hope the future will take you?
Only God knows. I hope that whatever role I serve in, I will be able to deliver individually tailored care to those I serve and to the very best of my abilities—the way I learned it in the beginning at my Tech.