If you read the biography of Marianne Halas on the Emmanuel College softball page, it says: Career Aspirations: Nurse Practitioner.
Halas, who graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 2012 and Emmanuel in 2016 with a degree in Biology, is poised to realize that dream. After graduating from Emmanuel, she entered Simmons College where she earned her Registered Nursing (RN) degree. This week Marianne will receive her Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Simmons that will lead to her licensure as a Nurse Practitioner (NP).
“I’m looking forward to the next phase of my career,” said Halas. “Hopefully, I’ll be doing primary care. In Massachusetts, as a nurse practitioner, you have to have an overseeing physician. In New Hampshire, nurse practitioners can open their own practices and can work independently, but in Massachusetts they haven’t passed those laws yet.”
Recovering from Coronavirus
Halas, 25, has been working as an RN at a nursing home in Stoneham. Last month, Marianne contracted the coronavirus.
“I had a pretty mild case of it (COVID-19),” related Marianne. “The virus struck the staff and the patients at the nursing home. I had to stay in my room at my house. I feel much better now.”
Asked about being a nurse during this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic and working in an environment that has been hit exceedingly hard by the virus, Marianne said, “You kind of just do it. You signed up – I’m a nurse and you know that sometimes you’re going to have to be faced with these situations.”
Marianne continued to work as a nurse while she pursued her Master’s degree. “Simmons requires that you work as a nurse while you do the NP preparation part of the program,” said Marianne.
She completed the last few weeks of her classes and took her final exams online while in quarantine at the Halas family home in Lynn.
A Scholar-Athlete and a State Champion at St. Mary’s
Marianne Halas exemplified “scholar-athlete” at St. Mary’s High School. She was the president of the National Honor Society and the recipient of the prestigious Connell Endowed Scholarship that is awarded to a student who has an excellent academic record and has demonstrated service to the school and the community. Halas said she will always be appreciative to the Connell family for their generosity and all that the family has done for St. Mary’s.
The daughter of Marijean and Paul Halas (the Halas family is legendary in baseball and fastpitch softball in Chelsea), Marianne was a captain of the St. Mary’s softball team. She was a starting outfielder and played a huge role for the 2010 state championship team, completing a back-to-back run of titles for the Spartans.
“I have good memories of St. Mary’s softball,” said Marianne. “It’s a great program.”
St. Mary’s Director of Athletics Jeff Newhall remembers Halas as a standout student-athlete and school leader. “She was a great role model for our students – she brought a competitive flair to the field and was admired by her teammates and classmates,” recalled Newhall. “I congratulate Marianne on receiving her Master’s degree and continuing on in her profession and helping people as a nurse practitioner.”
While a student at St. Mary’s, Marianne worked in the Lynn Summer Parks and Recreation Program under Director Lisa Nerich.
“When Marianne was in our program, she was dedicated to her job and loved working with kids,” said Nerich. “So seeing her involved in the health profession where she is helping seniors and children, I know she will be an outstanding nurse practitioner. It’s nice to see our former parks and recreation staff being successful in their careers. I know Marianne will be very dedicated to her patients in her position.”
Citing the Importance of Education at all Levels
Marianne said her days of attending school and playing sports in Lynn set a positive foundation in her life and led to lasting friendships.
“Education has been a major component of my life for as long as a I can remember,” said Marianne. “From elementary and middle school at Sacred Heart in Lynn to St. Mary’s High School, I obtained the academic foundation I needed to excel in my bachelor’s and master’s programs.
“I’ve learned many life lessons and created lasting friendships with friends, teammates, and colleagues over the years,” said Marianne.
The graduation ceremony at Simmons College symbolizes recognition for educational achievement and career ambition and is a time of reflection and pride for Marianne Halas and her proud family, including her grandparents, former Lynn Police Chief Jack Hollow and Mary Hollow of Lynn.