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Justine DeFronzo, RN ’13 MBAJustine DeFronzo headshot 


Justine DeFronzo, RN can’t get enough of Rivier University.

She originally graduated from Rivier in 1995 with an associate’s degree in nursing and at that time started taking courses towards a bachelor’s in nursing, but a long commute and busy family life forced her to temporarily put her education on hold.

During that time, she enjoyed working as a nurse is several different settings, including pediatric home care and case management. Eventually, she began working at a regional Massachusetts hospital, where her career blossomed—working first in inpatient pediatrics and then the emergency department. She moved into supervising and eventually worked her way into management as a clinical manager in pediatrics, to her current role as director of emergency services at another hospital.

In 2007, Justine reenrolled at Rivier and started pursuing her BSN degree once again—something she had been hoping to do for a while.

“The timing was perfect as I had just entered my role as clinical manager, and the leadership and policy classes were very relevant to my work experience and needs,” she says. “Making the transition from staff nurse to manager was overwhelming and I recognized that I needed to take every opportunity to learn and grow in leadership.”

She graduated from Rivier again with her BSN and a minor in business in 2009, and in 2010, enrolled in the MBA program at Rivier. “My past experiences at Rivier had been so positive that I decided to stay with the school I know and love to pursue an MBA.” Halfway through the program, she learned that the University was offering an online Healthcare Administration focus within the MBA program and without missing a beat she switched gears.

Justine graduated in May 2013 with her MBA in Healthcare Administration and credits Rivier for a large part of her continued success over the years, and says her recent MBA degree has helped her tremendously in her current role by giving her an in-depth understanding of the foundation and background that supports current trends in healthcare and the business world, as well as providing a global perspective.

“I very often brag about the programs and opportunities at Rivier University,” she says. “This school provides a competitive learning platform that is suited to the needs of the traditional undergraduate student, but is especially supportive of the nontraditional working student.”

“I truly appreciate the value that the school places on real life experience,” she adds. “The supportive environment has allowed me to flourish and excel. I never thought I would become a lifetime student, but Rivier has created an environment that keeps me coming back.”

Read about Justine’s lifesaving efforts during an in-flight emergency: http://www.heywood.org/news.html?id=2346.