For RTCC graduates Casey Holtz and Lindsey Maloney, there was no doubt about what they wanted to do after their two years in the Health Careers program: they wanted to pursue a career in Nursing. The question was whether they would be ready for the academic demands that entailed. This fall, as students in the Bachelor of Nursing program at Castleton University, they are finding out that the preparation they received at RTCC has them moving in the right direction.
“Basically, it was sink or swim from the first day we arrived here” said Maloney. “The workload, the vast amount of learning and the need for critical thinking skills became obvious very quickly. Thankfully, the training we received at RTCC, especially getting our LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) while in the program, really gave us an advantage. It was a great introduction on which to build a base for a nursing career. We already had skills that some others coming into the program didn’t, so that was a real plus.”
That advantage, however, still didn’t fully prepare them for the expectations of their program. “We basically live at the library”, said Holtz half jokingly. “Any break between classes or evenings and weekends finds us there. We have no time for extra curricular activities. We’re lucky to eat lunch! We’re also lucky that our teacher at RTCC, Missy Carpenter, spent a lot of time preparing us for this. She is a nurse and knows what it takes.”
Both students chose Castleton specifically because of the Bachelor in Nursing program. As more and more health providers demand the BSN, it only made sense for them to start with that as their goal knowing that they were going to be committing the next four years of their lives to attaining it.
Mellissa Carpenter, the Health Career program instructor, is an obvious fan of Casey and Lindsey. “It’s always a bonus to have students who know exactly what career paths they intend to pursue after leaving their RTCC programs. Lindsey and Casey were two such students and both were very determined to make nursing school a part of their futures. These two young ladies were extremely motivated individuals and they took advantage of every learning opportunity presented to them. I have no doubt that they have the work ethic to be successful at Castleton and I honestly believe that they will be some of the best nurses you’ll ever meet! I am so proud of them and all of my former students who work hard and extend kindness and compassion to others. They all inspire me more than they’ll ever know.”
What advice do these future nurses have for those considering a nursing career? “Do your homework before you choose a school”, said Holtz. “Know the course catalogs of the schools you are considering. Understand that the amount of work that you will be doing is unlike anything you experienced in high school. I would also recommend taking courses at CCV to get prepared.”
From Maloney, the answer was simply “Don’t procrastinate. Know that you will work harder than you ever have before. Make the best use of your time. It is pretty much all consuming.”