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Ursula Shea

Retired Nurse and Nurse Educator | Worcester

Ursula Shea graduated with the first nursing class from QCC in 1968. She worked at Hammond Hospital, St. Vincent’s and UMass Medical throughout her nursing career.

“The nursing program is wonderful at QCC,” she said. “I loved teaching and working with up-and-coming nurses.”

She earned her associate’s degree from QCC, along with her nursing certification. She went to QCC when the youngest of her four children started school.

A Worcester resident, Mrs. Shea started her career at St. Vincent’s Hospital as a staff nurse. During her nursing career, she went to Worcester State for her bachelor’s degree, Anna Maria College for master’s degree in nursing administration and University of Massachusetts/Amherst for her doctorate in education, policy research and administration in nursing.

She taught a clinical rotation at QCC, as well as at Worcester State and Anna Maria. She was able to teach during the day and work evenings. She was involved in the Worcester State College Honor Society as a faculty advisor.

Mrs. Shea said it is important to make sure students know their nursing skills, but also that they need to lighten up as well. “It helps to have a personality, to be able to relax and joke with patients to help them feel more comfortable,” she said.

At UMass Medical Center, she helped open the orthopedic unit as the nurse manager and continued to work there for 20 years.

“I worked nights and really found my niche there,” she said. “I knew so many of the nurses and could help them with their clinical skills.”

When she retired, she had been a nurse for 50 years.

“QCC has a wonderful nursing program, it has really grown,” she said.

Mrs. Shea said she was honored to be named a QCC Guardian. She worked with many nurses over the years that graduated from QCC and said she recommended the school to others.