Career Changer Finds New Passion in the Classroom

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Like many of her students, Jennifer Messmer is a career changer. She had been working as a hemodialysis nurse/transplant coordinator for a New York hospital before enduring several traumatic hand surgeries, which made it difficult for her to continue her career.

"I saw an ad in the paper for a dialysis instructor at Star Career Academy, applied and was hired," she said. "One door closed and look what opened – a whole new world that I just fell in love with."

Today, Messmer is the lead dialysis technician instructor at Star Career Academy's Long Island campus. A licensed practical nurse (LPN), Messmer has a long and distinguished career, with nearly 20 years in hospitals in the New York area.

Her first job was in a convent as a nurse's aide at age 16 ("that was some 'Sister Act,'" she said) Working as an office nurse, charge nurse and medical surgical nurse, Messmer discovered the field of dialysis nursing, which focuses on conditions of the kidney, while working at a hospital. She took a course and loved it.

"Most people who get involved in dialysis stay in it because they just love it," she said.

Outside of work, Messmer is a tireless volunteer. She is involved with girl scouts, boy scouts, swim coach, religion teacher, a volunteer for the National Kidney Foundation, vice president of the National Association of Neurology Technicians (NANT) and Knights of Columbus.

"We raise money to give money away, cook for people in the neighborhood who do not have the means to cook or to buy food," she said.

Messmer has a passion to help people and while she has received many honors and awards, she says she is a complete introvert who doesn't want to have attention placed on her.

"My most valuable awards are the ones that's said thank you for helping and thanking you for being there for my loved one holding their hand at their last moments of life and just thank you for being you," she said. "I treasure them more than gold they are the highest honors anyone can receive."

For more information, visit

SOURCE Star Career Academy