Brandywine welcomes new campus nurse

Faith Cella smiling in her headshot
Credit: Faith Cella

Name: Faith Cella

Title: Student Health Services Nurse

Department: Health Services

Faith Cella joined Penn State Brandywine as the new campus nurse in October 2022. She graduated from Widener University with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Immaculata University. Coming from Neumann University, Cella is excited to be at Brandywine and to get to know the students and her colleagues.

Brandywine: What is your background and previous experience? 

Cella: I came to Penn State Brandywine from Neumann University. At Neumann, I served as the director of student health services for two years. I came during the pandemic, so the role there was a little different than what a typical campus nurse would do at that time. I oversaw and developed COVID testing strategies, set up COVID vaccine clinics, developed and implemented health and wellness programs, and then also at the same time did provide direct patient care to students.

Prior to working at Neumann, I started my nursing career at ChristianaCare in the stroke unit. I stayed there for about two years, and then I transitioned into the inpatient psychiatric unit, and I specialized in psychiatric nursing. I realized I had a passion for psychiatric nursing, and I became a certified psychiatric nurse. Then, I started working for Mainline Health closer to home. I was there for many years and worked on their inpatient psychiatric unit while working per diem at a facility called St. John Vianney, which was also a psychiatric facility.

Brandywine: What was your deciding factor in coming to work at Penn State Brandywine? 

Cella: My deciding factor was Penn State's reputation. It provides support, community and networking, and that's something that I wanted in a career. What drew me to Brandywine specifically was the tight-knit community while also being connected to the university up at University Park.

I already had a connection to Penn State because my daughter is a senior nursing student at University Park. My family has season tickets to the football games, so we've been going up the past four years. Since I already had that kind of connection with Penn State, being offered to work at Penn State Brandywine was an opportunity I couldn't say no to.

What drew me to Brandywine specifically was the tight-knit community while also being connected to the university up at University Park.

—Faith Cella , student health services nurse

Brandywine: What are you looking forward to most during your time at Penn State Brandywine? 

Cella: What I'm looking for most is building relationships with both the students and my colleagues, getting involved more with campus activities and events, and involving myself with the community.

Brandywine: What made you want to get into nursing?

Cella: Out of high school, I went to Widener University, and I got a degree in psychology. After that, I started a family, and after a couple years I decided I was ready to go back to school and got my nursing degree.

I wanted a career that was challenging, interesting and unique. I didn't want to go and do the same thing every day, and I thought I could incorporate both my psychology and nursing degrees together and become a psychiatric nurse.

I enjoy the flexibility of being a nurse, because there's so many options to use your nursing skills and the lifelong learning component attracted me to this career. It's not just working in the hospital or at the bedside, there are many specialties — the possibilities are endless. The flexibility and variety are what I thought would give me a good work-life balance with still having time with my family and still having a challenging career.

Brandywine: Before working as a college nurse, you worked in a hospital. What made you decide to make that transition?

Cella: I did many years in the hospital and on the inpatient psychiatric unit, and the flexibility was great when my kids were little – I used to work nights and weekends so I could spend time with my children on weekdays and be involved with their school activities. Now that they’re grown, I started to look at other opportunities that the nursing field offers. And working on the psychiatric unit, I did have a large population of college students because we were surrounded by many different colleges. I worked at Bryn Mawr Hospital and there's a lot of colleges in that area. I really enjoyed the college population, and I thought to myself, “Okay, what else can I do here?”

That's when I then ventured into looking at higher education — I would be working with the college population and give them the support they need. I would also have a regular work schedule where I wasn't working nights and weekends, and I'd be able to sleep at night and not during the day. I thought that it would just be a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to work in higher education.

I thought that it would just be a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to work in higher education.

—Faith Cella , student health services nurse

Brandywine: What are some of your interests? 

Cella: One of my interests is coaching youth softball. I coached my daughters for the past 15 years and had been involved with the township softball board helping to develop players and provided players an opportunity to play in a fun, competitive environment. Last year, I started coaching a younger tournament team so I could keep my hands in coaching.

When I'm not coaching or working, I enjoy spending my time on the beach. I spend a lot of the summer weekends at the Jersey Shore and winter breaks on the Florida beaches relaxing with my family and friends. I enjoy boating, and my all-time favorite activity to do on the boat is crabbing in the bay.