I was a die-hard Respiratory Therapist from back in 1979. Although many had questioned me about becoming a nurse, I resisted it. I was a snot sucker and that was good enough for me. I had my community of other therapists and knew practically everyone in the field in Columbus. I studied on my own and knew most of the information out there on Respiratory care. I supervised weekend day shift and was the authority in Pediatrics, an area that I loved to work in.
My sister, Pauline was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer in early 1998. I was with her through diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation and hospice. I was her advocate, keeping her informed about all phases of her treatment. Often she would ask me to make decisions for her. As difficult as it was, I would only give her all the information that I could garner and support her in whatever decision she chose. My decisions would have been jaded; I wanted her to live forever.
Several times during her treatment, Pauline suggested that I go into nursing. My response was usually a smile and a nod of the head, just something to placate her. I had no intention of going into nursing. Little did I know what was in store for me. I later decided to enroll in CSCC (columbus State Community College), just to see what they had to offer. It was around that time that Ohio Health decided to initiate a GRAD program for its employees. I applied and was accepted. It was then that I needed to decide what my major would be and I chose nursing, remembering my promise to my sister who had passed by this time. I knew that I could always change it if I wanted to.
I loved being back in school and learning new things. My husband and children were right by my side, rooting me on. As I was talking classes, I remember thinking that I would love to teach at CSCC. I wanted to be like my instructors, reaching minds. I was the first person to graduate from the GRAD program in nursing. My instructors keep telling us all through nursing school that this was just a beginning: that we needed to continue our education, so I enrolled in the BSN completion program @ Capital University shortly after my graduation from CSCC. The GRAD II program again paid for my education.
At some point, I saw an application for an academic Coordinator in the nursing department at CSCC. I applied and after about six months was hired into the position. It is very rewarding and offers a unique perspective in nursing. From my BSN, I have enrolled in the MSN program in education and have two classes to complete. I am in my “dream job” and never would have been here @ CSCC were it not for nursing.
Thank you Pauline and Roger for your physical and mental support. I love you both and the field of nursing!
— academic coordinator-nursing