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MassBay Nursing Graduate Earns Degree During COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

El Jan Daulo FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (August, 2020) —  El Jan Daulo of Watertown, MA, and a native of the Philippines, always knew he wanted to work in the healthcare industry and was excited when he landed a position as a hematology lab assistant at a local medical diagnostics company. El Jan enjoyed his lab work, which included organizing slides and samples, and preparing instruments critical to the company’s work. He quickly realized that he was more passionate about working directly with patients, and that his behind-the-scenes work in the lab gave him a knowledge base that would provide added benefits to patients. In the summer of 2019, El Jan decided he wanted to change careers to work on the frontlines to help people directly, and applied to MassBay’s Practical Nursing program.

“I researched local nursing programs and found that MassBay had an affordable and reputable program so I enrolled. I was able to work full-time while attending class full-time, which was challenging, but it kept me focused on my long-term goal of becoming a nurse. My achievements would not have been possible without the full support of my family, fiancé, and my amazing colleagues at work. They all believed in me throughout the program, providing me with the support system that fueled my passion and to keep me moving forward,” said El Jan.

The 11-month program is a blend of in-class lecture, hands-on learning, and clinical placements in the MetroWest area. “When the coronavirus impacted Massachusetts and forced everything to move to a remote format, so did our classes. It was difficult at times, but we had a close cohort and professors who continuously supported us. We leaned on each other and worked together to finish the semester strong. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t scare us off, I think it has increased our desire to become the best nurses we can be to help our patients.”

El Jan, connected with his patients and staff at his clinical site, the Elizabeth Seton Residence, located across the street from MassBay’s main campus in Wellesley Hills. “Geriatric patients are a very vulnerable population during this pandemic, but doing a clinical rotation at Elizabeth Seton gave me insights I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The staff were helpful and I learned so much during my on-the-job-training, but the patients taught me the most. I met an 85-year old patient named John who had lost his wife of 45 years, and he inspired me to keep reaching for my dream. He told me, ‘You are a good man. You will be a great nurse someday. Keep moving forward.’ That conversation was a life-changing moment, giving me strength to continue even when things become difficult.”

El Jan was selected by his classmates to deliver the student speech during the virtual Practical Nursing pinning ceremony. “I was honored to be selected and speak to the class and guests near and far, including my grandparents in the Philippines. The entire experience is truly one of the most memorable moments I’ve had in my life and I will cherish it forever.” He explain to the virtual guests of the pinning, “Sometimes, we see and feel fear, sadness, and pain in our patient’s eyes. We also see the family’s joys and struggles throughout the course of their admission. The uncertainty of not knowing what may happen next is never a good feeling. As nurses, we share all those special moments and provide the patient and their families love, care, and comfort. We assure them that they are not alone in this journey; that we can help make it better, even for a moment. Nurses are the voice of their patients; we are advocates for their overall wellbeing. Being a nurse is a dream come true.”

El Jan has accepted a position as a nurse at the Elizabeth Seton Residence in Wellesley Hills, where he held his clinical work, and he looks forward to returning to college soon to earn his bachelor’s degree in nursing. His long-term goal is to become a geriatrics nurse practitioner.

To learn more about at MassBay visit

MassBay Community College is ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for two-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England, and #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded lifelong learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.

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Students + Alumni