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Today, we shine the spotlight on Tara Grana, BSN, RN. She not only excelled in our program but has since embarked on a journey of inspiring and guiding the next generation of nurses. As an advisor for RN to BSN students here at the College of Nursing, Tara brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion to the table. She provides guidance for those navigating the transition from registered nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Here's what we learned during our talk with Tara Grana:

Can you tell us about your journey from being a nursing student to where you are in your career today? 

My nursing journey began in high school science class. I loved every topic in biology, particularly dissecting animals, which then led me down a path of wanting to be in the operating room during surgery. I applied to the University of Kentucky (UK), was accepted as a pre-nursing student, and started the traditional track my sophomore year. During the summers back home in TN, I worked in an OB/GYN office and fell in love with women's health. After my junior year OB rotation, I knew I wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse. Immediately after graduation and passing the NCLEX, I started my first job as an RN across the street at UKHC. I cross-trained and worked in labor and delivery, mother-baby, and the nursery. I truly enjoyed working with both mothers and babies in the patient setting. I also worked at Central Baptist briefly and then transitioned to (prn) school nursing as I stayed home to raise my three kids. I have been with the College of Nursing since 2017 in student affairs (advising and recruiting) and love helping to guide associate degree nurses on their academic journey to obtain their BSN through the 100% online RN-BSN track! 

Reflecting on your time in the nursing program, what were some of your most valuable lessons or experiences? 

Hang in there! It's challenging but worth it in the end. Nursing is such a diverse occupation that it can lead to many different employment opportunities. 

What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse and an advisor in the RN-BSN Program? 

Because of my background of both being a student and working as a nurse at UK, I can advise the students on particular nursing specific issues or challenges that I may have faced that they too may be facing during their time in the track. My goal is to guide them through their journey toward accomplishing their goal: a BSN. I appreciate their excitement during their final few advising sessions when they are told they can now 'apply for their degree.'

What are your favorite memories about being a student on UK's campus? 

I was in a sorority and lived in the Kappa Delta house during my sophomore, junior, and senior years. One of the main reasons I lived there for three years was the house's prime location to the College of Nursing. I could quickly walk back and forth without worrying about parking and always had a delicious meal waiting for me, no matter what my schedule looked like that semester. Quick access to class, parking, and food are all very important to a student! 

Finally, what advice would you give to current nursing students or recent graduates who are just starting their careers? 

I have three main points of advice. First, they have picked a career that will serve them well during their future life transitions. There will always be a need for work-ready RNs, so if there is ever a time that they question their path, they can find comfort in knowing their hard work will pay off over a lifetime with a plethora of opportunities to use their high-demand science degree to help others, whether that is on the floor in a hospital, in a clinic, as a school nurse, healthcare sales, teaching in an academic setting, medical mission, graduate-level research, healthcare systems leadership, and even advising future nurses. The list can go on and on! 

Secondly, they will inevitably encounter many patients, some more kind and memorable to them than others. Do not let challenging patients discourage them. Stay confident and professional; do not take things personally. 

My third and last point is that they may be the one bright spot in a not-so-bright event in someone's life. They may never know what a blessing their compassion and comfort meant to a patient. So, always strive to provide the best care so that when they go home after their shift, they have confidence in knowing they made a positive difference in the life of a patient and their family.


The UK College of Nursing values its graduates and wants to stay connected with nursing alumni! If you have a spotlight suggestion, please email our Alumni Program Coordinator today at