Kayla Bonus

Somerset County woman shapes her future in Fayette

Nursing student Kayla Bonus embraces college life at Penn State Fayette

A Fairhope, Pa., native found everything she wanted in a college at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.

“I chose Penn State Fayette because it would give me small classes and one-on-one attention,” said Kayla Bonus, a sophomore Nursing major. “I like that I can go to my professor’s office and they know who I am, that I am not just another number. I like that they are willing to help me with any academic issues I may be having in their class—and if they cannot help, they will direct me to someone who will be able to help.”

Beyond its intimate size, Bonus has found other benefits to attending Penn State Fayette. She said, “I like that the staff at Penn State Fayette are all friendly and try to help with anything they can. I also like that the campus holds different events on- and off-campus that keep the students involved and help us get to know each other, help us become more of a family than just a place you come, go to class, study, and leave.”

Bonus believes a major advantage to the Fayette campus is that its Nursing students are able to obtain clinical experience from a variety of hospitals. She said, “It gives me a chance to see how many different hospitals work and is allowing me to go through the many different experiences each hospital has to offer.”

In fact, it was a clinical experience while still a student at Berlin Brothers Valley High School that led Bonus to decide on a career in nursing. She had the opportunity as a senior to job-shadow a labor and delivery nurse at Somerset Hospital. “I was able to observe a C-section during my job-shadowing time,” she said, “and after that experience I knew then and there I wanted to be a nurse.”

Now that Bonus is well on her way to becoming an RN, what does she think of her education at the Fayette campus? “I think that Penn State Fayette’s Nursing program is incredible! It allows me to get the hands-on experience that is super-helpful and allows me to learn at a quick but reasonable pace. This Nursing program allows me to practice the skills in the simulation lab before going into the hospitals,” said Bonus.

In addition to keeping busy with schoolwork and extracurricular activities, Bonus also holds down two part-time jobs. She has a work study position in the campus Admissions Office, where she also volunteers as a Lion Ambassador, taking visitors on campus tours and lending support at other events.

This year, Bonus has become a resident adviser in the close-to-campus University Commons student residences. Being an RA entails giving tours, collecting rent, dealing with tenant issues and roommate problems, helping with paperwork, collecting keys, and planning monthly events.

Bonus hopes to earn a bachelor’s of science in Nursing degree at Penn State Fayette, get an RN license, and then continue her education while working in pediatrics. After getting a master’s degree, her career goal is to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.