Texas Tech University

Neil Curlee Alumni Profile

Human Development & Family Studies Proves as a Great Option for Pre-Professional Health Careers

Neil Curlee HDFS Major Nursing SchoolHuman Development & Family Studies (HDFS) alumnus Neil Curlee graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2015 with his bachelor's degree and went on to attend Covenant School of Nursing. He then graduated from Covenant in 2017 and is now working as a Registered Nurse (RN) on the pediatric floor at Covenant Women's and Children's Hospital. Up until Neil's graduation from Covenant School of Nursing, he served as a nurse technician. He then worked his way up to become a Registered Nurse (RN) after passing his National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Neil is certified in both Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). Some of his daily roles include taking care of assigned patients, giving medications, taking vital signs, and making assessments. Neil also does things like coordinating with the charge nurses and doctors, drawing lab work, educating patients and their families, and charting.

"The best part of the job is seeing patients get better, turn a corner, and get back to 100% so they can go home," Neil said. "Feeling like I've helped them is easily the best part of the job."

Neil decided to pursue a career in nursing after he suffered a serious trauma injury and was put in the hospital back in 2006. He said that seeing the way that the staff helped him inspired him to want to do the same for others. He then spoke with his uncle who is a retired nurse and his cousin who works as an RN about the role of a nurse, and that helped him to decide that nursing was the career path he wanted to pursue.

"I switched to HDFS because at that time I decided I wanted to pursue nursing. HDFS allowed me to get those prerequisites and a degree," Neil said. "I was very glad to be in the College of Human Sciences!"

A bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies has helped prepare Neil for his career as a Registered Nurse. Students like Neil learn the skills needed to support patients and their families through collaboration and interdisciplinary care.

"My advisor, teachers, and everyone seemed so empathetic and caring like they really wanted me to do well," Neil said. "It was very beneficial as it taught me many things about the developmental process, ways of thinking, and how to treat kids—which is very helpful since I use that as a pediatric nurse."

One of Neil's favorite memories from being a student in the College of Human Sciences is taking a class from HDFS Associate Chairperson and Instructor, Mitzi Ziegner, and listening to her tell stories about children and discipline. Neil said that those stories left an imprint on him about the pediatric world and how important it is for healthcare professionals to see things from a child's perspective. Neil says that it is the faculty in the college that make the Human Development and Family Studies program stand out.

The HDFS program at Texas Tech teaches students to connect with people, understand their needs across the lifespan, and communicate effectively. All of these skills are essential for going into the healthcare field, and this makes HDFS a great program for those wanting to pursue a pre-professional health career such as nursing.