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Being Compassionate: Ida Biddle-Mayer, BA ’11, BSN ’14, MSN ’16

Ida Biddle-Mayer BA '11, BSN '14, MSN '16Even though Ida Biddle-Mayer has been in the nursing profession for more than 45 years, she explains that she was not ‘one of the girls who always wanted to be a nurse’ when she was a child.

She was not unfamiliar with nurses growing up – her great aunt was a nurse. Her mother had breast cancer surgery when Biddle-Mayer was in elementary school which led to many stomach aches due to anxiety resulting in many visits to the school nurse, Mrs. Feehan, who Biddle-Mayer got to know very well.

“I was blessed with having Mrs. Feehan for all 12 years of school. She was the kindest woman I knew, besides my own mother. Mrs. Feehan calmed my fears when my mother was in the hospital. She is the reason I became a nurse.”

Feehan eventually invited Biddle-Mayer to come out for a Future Nurses Club of America meeting. The club attracted high school students from across the country who were interested in the profession. Feehan knew her interest was medical illustration, but she inspired Biddle-Mayer to consider becoming an RN. Soon, Biddle-Mayer adopted the same sense of devotion to others during their difficult times as Mrs. Feehan had done for her.

After being a registered nurse for 40 years, Biddle-Mayer realized that she needed to complete an accredited degree program to remain current in nursing practice. “I had gone to a few colleges before I decided to enroll at Thomas Edison State University (TESU). TESU accepted more than 120 credits when I enrolled, so I finished my BA degree in Liberal Studies first and then went on to earn my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degrees through TESU’s RN-BSN/MSN Program.”

It’s no wonder that, during all the years she spent in nursing career tracks – including child mental and behavioral health – Biddle-Mayer’s favorite role is being a school nurse. Biddle-Mayer enjoys helping children learn good health habits and promoting holistic care, including championing children’s mental and behavioral health. She launched her own website in 1999, providing information about school health for children, parents and educators.

In addition to being a compassionate nurse, Biddle-Mayer is a dedicated Alumni Ambassador for TESU. “I can relate to other adults who have life experiences and a drive for academic success. I enjoy sharing my own experience with prospective and enrolled TESU students. Being an Alumni Ambassador is a like being a cheerleader, but instead of cheering for a sport, we are cheering students on to graduation.”

Biddle-Mayer has volunteered at TESU Open Houses throughout the years, donated to support TESU scholarships and contributed as a Social Media Advocate.

She enjoys working with children in her current position as a part-time school nurse. Noting that there has been a rise in anxiety and depression rates among children, she affirmed that she would like to continue to do more work in those areas.

“I treat every child who comes into my office like the little child I once was. It’s my hope that children I help today will remember me as the kindest woman they knew besides their mothers, like Mrs. Feehan was for me.”