Alumni Profile: Meaghan Mooney '05New Article

Alumni Profile: Meaghan Mooney '05

Meaghan Mooney ’05

Helping to Bring Fairfield’s Spirit to Austin Egan.

Fairfield Egan offers such a high-quality healthcare education; establishing this Austin branch of the University’s nursing program is fantastic to see.

— Meaghan Mooney ’05

Returning home to Texas after graduating from Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, Meaghan Mooney ’05 has continued to represent her fellow Stags from halfway across the country. As a new member of the Fairfield Egan Advisory Board, Mooney will play an essential role in cultivating and growing the relationship between Fairfield Egan and its new Austin, Texas branch, slated to open in May 2023.

According to Mooney, this is a great time for Fairfield to establish a presence in Austin. While there’s a nursing shortage around the country, the problem is especially magnified in the Austin area, which has been one of the fastest-growing metro regions in the country for more than a decade. The new Texas program will address the region’s need for healthcare professionals by focusing on educating second-degree students in an accelerated, 15-month nursing program.

“Austin has always been known as a college town, and it just has a certain vibe that differentiates it from the rest of Texas,” said Mooney. “It is a hub for many different arenas — music, tech, education, politics, and healthcare. With the population growth in Austin and Central Texas, there has also been growth in healthcare and the need for expanded services in the area. This has created a large opportunity for nursing professionals in the Austin metropolitan area.”

Mooney initially chose to attend Fairfield University back in 2001 because she wanted to study nursing in the Northeast, at a school with a study abroad option for nursing students. That rare combination, coupled with a cousin who had attended Fairfield, made the decision to become a Stag an easy one. “The education I received at Egan built a solid foundation for my nursing career. I am excited to be able to give back to the school that gave so much to me,” said Mooney.

In her current professional role as a patient navigator for clinical placements at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin Hospital, Mooney acts as a liaison between insurance groups and Ascension’s staff to ensure good patient care. While her own path has been in oncology, Mooney explained that there are myriad career opportunities within the field of nursing — both in terms of specialties and types of nurses — and she’s excited for Fairfield’s Texas students to explore the field, try new experiences, and find their right fit within the profession.

Mooney brings her healthcare industry knowledge and a deep appreciation of Fairfield’s exceptional nursing reputation to her role on the Fairfield Egan Advisory Board, and has become a valuable resource in planning for a successful program launch in Austin.

Before committing to building a new nursing school in Texas, Fairfield administration and Egan Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN, reached out to local alumni, including Mooney, as part of their market research into potential sites for a satellite campus. Dean Kazer has acknowledged that her former student has already been a tremendous asset by facilitating the affiliation between Fairfield and the Ascension healthcare network.

“I was able to give them a little extra insight about healthcare in the region, and I’m very happy that I was able to connect Dr. Kazer with the nursing leadership at Ascension,” said Mooney. “The Ascension healthcare organization has hospitals throughout the Austin area, as well as outpatient clinics and a mental behavioral health facility.”

Initially interested in maternity or pediatric nursing while a student at Fairfield, Mooney was placed in surgical clinicals and ended up in oncology units, an experience that altered the course of her career and presented new opportunities for growth.

“My career in oncology led me to become involved with a non-profit organization called Wonders and Worries,” she said. “They provide free professional support for children who have a parent experiencing serious illness. I serve on their board of directors and their development and outreach committee, as well as on their fundraising event committees.”

“I think it’s wonderful that Fairfield will have a presence here in Texas,” Mooney affirmed. “Fairfield Egan offers such a highquality healthcare education; establishing this Austin branch of the University’s nursing program is fantastic to see. To have nurses in the local area receive a Fairfield education ensures that there will be highly trained nurses entering the local workforce.”

Other Articles in the Spring 2023 Issue

Letter from the President

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Online Learning, Fairfield Style

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Grand Design

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Play Ball

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In Deep Waters

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Alumni Profile: Colleen (O’Donnell) Thorburn ’97

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Donor Profile: Robert Dawe '72, MD, Honors Wife Jean Dawe Through Gift to the Egan School

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