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ACC Graduate Spotlight: Ashley Chacon


Nursing runs deep in Ashley Chacon's family.

"My parents were both nurses, my grandmother was a nurse, even my great-grandmother was the village healer in Romania. It's in my blood," Chacon said. "But it is also a stable job. There is always a need for health care professionals."

A graduate from American Career College-Ontario's vocational nursing program, Chacon now works at Huntington Hospital in the blood donor center. This August she and a team from the hospital organized a blood drive on campus. It was her first time back at the ACC-Ontario campus since she graduated and thought it would be an opportunity to educate as well as help provide a needed community service.

"It's good for medical students to see and understand the importance of blood donation, and how it's another aspect of the health care profession," she said.

Tell us about what you are doing now 

I started at Huntington Hospital as a personal care aide on the brain mapping unit. There are not too many LVN positions so I had to wait till one became available. Huntington is a great place to work. They have a prestigious name and great benefits. I have been there for four years. I work in the blood donor center. We take blood from donors from the community and also do blood transfusions. I like the paperwork and systematicness of the department. There is not a lot of stress nor emergency situations, which is a nice break from the floor. We do have medical urgencies but nothing as stressful as the floor.

What you were doing before enrolling at ACC?

I was at a job that required more education to move forward in the company. So I decided to go to nursing school and change careers.

What’s the best thing about being an LVN? What’s the hardest part?

The best thing is being a nurse and helping comfort people and knowing what will heal them. Also, I really like working with CNAs and encouraging them to further their education as well. The hardest part is working with doctors. They can be challenging to deal with.

Do you have any advice for new or potential nursing students?

Always keep an open mind. Nursing is constantly changing and we must change with it.

Did you ever feel like quitting while in school? If so, what kept you going?

I never felt like quitting school. I did all but give up on my actual license. I failed the first time I took the test, and it took me five years to work up the courage to take it again. My advice to new nurses: Take your test right after you graduate, don't wait. If you don't pass, take it again as soon as you can. Don't let time or anyone else discourage you from your goals.

Knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself on that first day in class at ACC-Ontario?

Study harder. Start taking the NCLEX prep tests after each term. Focus on the information you just learned. This will start training your brain to think like the NCLEX.

ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.

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