ACC Student Spotlight: Christina San Martin

04/23/2017

As a single mother, Christina San Martin's inspiration to do well in school seems obvious. Until you discover how competitive she is.

We ♥ ACC Faculty!

"I've had three instructors that have really impacted me. Ms. Q (Alice Quesada), she's really nurturing and inspiring. Mr. (Kenneth) Rowe is really compassionate and understanding, as well as really knowledgeable.

"My clinical instructor right now is tough as nails. Her name is Ms. (Marylou) Marella. She's incredible. She's pushed me so hard and I feel like I'm a 100 percent better because of her. I feel much more proficient and confident because of her."

— Christina San Martin

"My group of classmates, we work together and we challenge each other. We're very competitive so I don't want to miss class or do poorly because someone else will beat me and I like being at the top of the class,” the American Career College-Ontario vocational nursing student said.

“Staying at the top is difficult, but I study a lot. I'm constantly studying. I'm an older student; most of my classmates are like 19 and 20, so I have to push myself a little harder.”

Recently single, San Martin said she was drawn to the vocational nursing (VN) program because it is only 13 months long. After being a stay-at-home mom for the last 17 years, she was ready to push herself and set an example for her daughters.

“I'm a mom, so I'm trying to show my daughters what they need to do and I'm proud of myself for achieving as much as I have,” San Martin said. “I'm a foster mom and I'm still pushing through everything and I'm still at the top of my class. I feel like I have a future and I'm excited.”

•••

What's your dream job?

My dream job is to work in the [pediatric intensive care unit] PICU as a nurse. I think it's really incredible that those babies are alive. And being a nurse in the PICU, you give them one extra day of life by being an excellent nurse, because without you, they'll die. They're on the verge of life and death. I think that's really inspiring. That's what I want to do.

Do you have any advice for new students?

Just keep your integrity. In life no one's going to be policing you. We're all adults and we're representing the nursing profession. It's a big job and when no one's watching, I know I want to be the nurse that is doing the right thing and taking care of my patients in the best way possible -- not just because it's a job but because I care.

What do you like best about going to ACC?

I think that the nurses that instruct here, they go out of their way to make sure that you understand, that you are where you need to be and if you ask for help they will go out of their way to help you. I think that's the thing that's impacted me most about being at this college. There's so much help when you ask for it and when you really try.

What do you want to do after graduation?

I want to be an [licensed vocational nurse] LVN and continue my education and go on to get my [registered nurse] RN and my master's. I’m a mom. I have teenagers too, so I am very focused. I have to just keep plugging away.

What do you do for fun?

I don't have time to have fun. Parent's life. (laughs) 

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