Student Spotlight: Maica Ho x’22

headshot of Maica Ho
Maica Ho x’22

Meet Maica Ho x’22 from Greenfield, Wisconsin. She is a second-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) student and School of Nursing student ambassador.

What has been your favorite class or unit in the nursing program?
My favorite class in the nursing program has been the Nursing 326-327 clinical course, “Health and Illness Concepts with Individuals and Families.” I took this course last spring as a first-year student. It was the first course that not only challenged me, but also empowered me to take the skills that I learned in the classroom and apply them to the unit I was assigned to: the trauma and surgical IMC (intermediate care) unit. From inserting catheters and IVs to calling out a code blue, I had meaningful and powerful experiences on this unit that helped me achieve significant professional milestones. My clinical instructor really inspired me by pushing me to always think outside the box and step out of my comfort zone (thank you, Emily Herzog). I was also fortunate to have taken this course with my wonderful clinical group with whom, having started my nursing journey with them, I developed a strong camaraderie. All in all, this was a fun-filled, challenging course that gave me the fundamental skills to become a better nurse, and nurse leader. My experiences from this class have inspired me to pursue the path to becoming an emergency RN.

Where have your clinical placements been? And what were your experiences like?
While COVID has certainly been a challenge to nursing students and the university at large, I am thankful for UW-Madison School of Nursing’s efforts in providing students the opportunity to have clinical experiences. My placements have been in orthopedic/general surgery, trauma and surgical intermediate care, and home-based primary care. These unique placements have all challenged me in different ways; I learned how to be an advocate and to critically think about the various patients that I cared for. By providing direct patient care, I strengthened the fundamental skills and attitudes I need to become a great nurse. I am grateful to now have background knowledge of both inpatient and outpatient settings, and I look forward to incorporating these insights into my future nursing practice.

What are you involved in outside of nursing school?
Funny enough, I still find myself involved with the nursing school outside of the nursing program itself. In addition to being a senior-level student ambassador for the School of Nursing, I am a nurse assistant at University Hospital, an aging outreach and program support student hourly for the Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE), and a project assistant for the Mobilizing Older Adult Patients via a Nurse-Driven Intervention (MOVIN) project. I feel grateful to have mentors in these roles who are experienced and well-rounded professionals and admire their work and contributions to the aging population in Wisconsin and the nation. In contributing to the success of these programs, I know that I am making the most of my time with the school while affecting positive change in the health system.

Maica Ho administers COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a vaccination clinic
Maica Ho administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in 2021.

What are your nursing goals and/or career aspirations?
I am currently applying for residency programs with the goal of working as a registered nurse in an emergency department. I am enticed by the opportunity to work with diverse patients in a setting that is fast-paced and will allow me to develop a versatile skill set. My hope is that the experience I gain will prepare me for a strong career where I can not only serve as an excellent leader, but also as an advocate for my community. My ultimate goal is to eventually obtain a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP), where I can advance my scope of practice as a nurse practitioner and greatly impact and improve the lives of my future patients.

How would you describe the culture of the nursing program at UW–Madison?
I admire the nursing program’s efforts to promote excellence and build future nurse leaders. Importantly, the program prioritizes health above all when providing academic support. For example, mindfulness practices are incorporated into the curriculum and the classroom to help students develop healthy habits and enhance their resilience in the face of personal and academic stressors. It is truly a privilege to have nursing instructors who recognize that caring about students’ well-being is the key to ensuring their success. The School of Nursing also provides many opportunities for research, shadowing, and independent work that expose student nurses to various facets of the profession. My clinical group and I were given a chance to explore the UW Med Flight service through a tour led by a Med Flight nurse who graduated from the UW–Madison nursing program. It was inspiring to learn from someone who had been in my shoes and has accomplished so much throughout their career. From my experience, the culture of this program is built on community support, tradition, and innovation.

Just for fun, what’s on your Spotify playlist?
My Spotify account is a hodgepodge of things. With the recent holidays, it’s filled with Christmas hits. Otherwise, I’ll listen to artists like Michael Jackson, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé, songs from 90s/00s, EDM, rock, or rap/R&B, depending on my mood.

What is your favorite UW tradition?
My favorite UW tradition would have to be Jump Around!