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What's Your Story: Victoria College lights way for aspiring nurse

By BY KRISTEN KELLY
May 25, 2013 at 12:25 a.m.

Kristen Kelly

The Victoria Advocate will be publishing student essays from the Victoria College "What's Your Story?" scholarship competition during the next few weeks. Students were asked to write an essay answering the question, "How has Victoria College changed your life?" Winners of the contest, who will receive a $1,000 scholarship funded by the Victoria College Foundation, will have their essays published last. We welcome letters and columns from all students.

Victoria College has always been a beacon on the hazy, distant shore of the future. "Where am I going?" "What do I want to do?" VC had all the answers when I needed them.

After participating in clinical rotations my sophomore year in high school, my mind was determined to help others through health care. Once I realized what career path I wanted to follow, I was guided by the light that Victoria College provided. Now that I am a proud VC student, the college has enriched my life with new friends, opportunities for greater success, given me hope for the future and ensured my resolve to earn an associate degree in nursing.

When I was in high school, some classmates and I ventured to VC for a field trip that consisted of health care instructors telling us about the respective courses. We were introduced to the impressive, interactive dummies in the nursing department and were informed about several other medical careers such as respiratory therapy and the EMS. I remembered the awe of sitting in those blindingly white classrooms of the Health Science Center, rotating the office chair from side to side, anxious to become a VC student and launch my college career. From seeing the curriculum and the possibilities, I couldn't help but be excited for an education. I jumped at the chance to take classes here. In fact, I attended summer classes here not even a week after I graduated from high school.

Victoria College offers many course plans and majors that are as detailed as constellation maps, if not even more so. Initially, I completed all the basics required for the associate degree in nursing (ADN) program before applying for it in the fall of 2012. I was not accepted, however, and sat down, planning what I would do the subsequent semester. As previously mentioned, there are alternate routes and programs to consider here. I would have been lost if there was no licensed vocational nurse (LVN) program to consider. The LVN program became a fail-safe for me, since the college offers it. VC is enabling me to start at the bottom and come out on top.

The college has many stepping stones to help students reach the career or degree they wish. Therefore, I wish to begin as a licensed vocational nurse instead of struggling to survive the ADN program without prior nursing experience. The LVN program will prepare me for the future in clinical and medical practice and serve as a basis for the associate degree in nursing. At first, I believed I could simply dive in, since I am quite accustomed to succeeding on my first try. From that experience, I learned success is not always imminent and that it is best to be prepared for what may occur, win or lose. After hearing whispers and rumors about the difficulty of the ADN program, I would rather be safe than sorry. Not to mention, I would prefer more experience and capability with taking care of the needs of a prospective patient years from now. I am perpetually grateful to have expansive opportunities at this community college and am more than willing to take advantage of them.

Through the courses I have taken at VC, I have learned so much thanks to outstanding and remarkable instructors. Each one presented innovative methods of instruction or enhanced the lesson with jokes, which especially helped in anatomy and physiology with Dr. Bell. I will never forget when she said that the term "parathormone" reminded her of a Norse god. I drew a horrible caricature of Marvel's Thor on an index card to help me remember PTH's function and the gland it is secreted by. It also made me smile at least once while studying. Years from now, when I am a Victoria College graduate, I will look back and remember the individuals responsible for their influence and help.

Through working at the VC/UHV library or meeting people in class and making allies of them, my life has been changed and constantly evolves. Victoria College changed my life and changes my life every day. Thanks to the college's beacon beckoning me, I have safely reached my destination in its harbor.

Kristen Kelly is a graduate of Cuero High School and lives in Thomaston. She is studying to become a nurse.

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