For Alea McClintock, there’s no place like Penn State. The Ohiopyle, Pa., native received her fourth Penn State Nursing degree May 7 at commencement ceremonies for The Graduate School. “I have been a Penn State student since the age of 17!” she proudly proclaims.
After graduating from Uniontown Area High School, McClintock enrolled in the A.S. program at Penn State Fayette, which she completed in 2008. While working as a registered nurse, she continued in the RN to B.S. program at Fayette, then completed a master’s degree with a Family Nurse Practitioner option.
In fall 2015, while working as an FNP at Garrett Medical Group, P.A., in Friendsville, Md., McClintock started the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) program through Penn State World Campus. For two years, she worked long hours serving her patients while completing the requirements for her terminal degree—an achievement she believes will enrich her practice and benefit her patients.
“In my practice of providing comprehensive primary care services to patients in a rural community, I’ve recognized that these communities face many limitations in terms of health care services and healthy lifestyle promotion,” she said. “My passion for rural health care and love for my community sparked my passion for my D.N.P. studies.”
For her D.N.P. project topic, McClintock chose “The Feasibility of Implementing a Non-Pharmacological Weight Loss Program in a Rural Community.” She successfully engaged local organizations in implementing a sustainable program focused on obesity, weight loss, physical activity, and healthy eating. “The long-term goal is to make a positive impact by offering more resources to promote healthy lifestyles,” she said.
McClintock’s own long-term goals include a continued commitment to promoting positive change in health care—both locally and systematically. She credits her Penn State education with giving her the preparation she needs to serve as a health care advocate and leader.
“I couldn’t imagine going to another school because of the superior education I have received,” she said. “My experience with Penn State has been nothing but positive, and my education has shaped me into the health care practitioner and leader I am today.”
By Beverly Molnar