Student Stories: Holly Greenwell

Holly Greenwell

Major: Associate in General Studies

Holly Greenwell has very specific educational goals for herself: to become a nurse practitioner, to graduate from college as debt-free as possible, and to be an honors student at College of DuPage.

So far, she’s meeting those goals in impressive fashion. As a Presidential Scholar at College of DuPage, she received a full-tuition scholarship and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society while completing her Associate in General Studies in less than two years.

Due to her accomplishments, including a 3.949 cumulative GPA, Greenwell received the College of DuPage Honors Transfer Scholarship awarded by Elmhurst College. This full-tuition scholarship paid for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. 

“I needed to maintain a minimum of a 3.25 GPA in order to keep the scholarship, and I wanted to maintain a high GPA at Elmhurst so that I could graduate with the highest honors,” she said.

She completed those goals as well, graduating magna cum laude and from the honors program. While at Elmhurst, she also was president of the Student Nurses Association.

Greenwell, who loves watching surgery and medical shows on TV, selected nursing because she enjoys helping people. Anatomy was one of her favorite classes in high school, and her interest in nursing grew even more through her volunteer work at the York Community Resource Center, the CNS Home Health and Hospice, LifeSource, and Central DuPage Hospital. She also worked at the Meadows Retirement Home.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, Greenwell accepted a job at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where she worked on the general medicine and hospice floor. She was precepting/training new nurses and was chair of the Skin Savers committee, which looks at best practices of preventing/treating ulcers, wounds and other skin alterations. 

Greenwell is now at the Mayo Clinic campus in Jacksonville, Fla., working in a virtual/telehealth position through the new Advanced Care at Home program, which started in 2020. 

“The goal is to bring the hospital to the patient to improve the recovery process by providing care in the comfort of their home,” she said. “While the Florida Mayo Clinic is the main Command Center, we also care for Mayo patients in northwest Wisconsin, and the program plans to expand to Arizona and Minnesota and even partner with other hospitals. It will be exciting to see the program continue to grow.”  

She also is pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing through the Clinical Nurse Educator program at Jacksonville University. After graduating in 2021, she plans to continue with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership.   

“My career goals are to become a Clinical Nurse Educator and teach nursing students in the clinical setting – and possibly classroom setting too down the road – or take a position on a hospital unit as a Nursing Education Specialist (NES),” she said. “An NES educates staff on policies, procedures and new equipment. They also plan orientation for new staff and follow them along the way to help them adjust and meet all of their goals.”

Greenwell encourages others to check out College of DuPage. With its top reputation nationally, COD offers an abundance of transfer programs and opportunities available on campus, whether it's classes or clubs.

“Students should look at the future and think about how much debt or loans they might have to pay off, because College of DuPage is a great school where students can get a fantastic education for an unbeatable price,” she said.