The day of his cohort’s vocational nurse pinning ceremony was a significant moment for Marcus Wooten. But despite just completing 20 months of homework and long nights in the evening and weekend program, the American Career College-Ontario graduate was already thinking about the future.
“Becoming an emergency room registered nurse is one of my next goals,” Wooten said. “I think this was definitely a great starter for that goal. This taught me a lot and I had a great experience with this.”
Wooten’s first job in healthcare was as an emergency medical technician. Now he works at Kaiser as an ER technician and hopes to transfer as a nurse into the ER after becoming a licensed vocational nurse. Sooner than later, he wants to go back to school and further his education.
“The schooling is difficult but it's definitely rewarding. It's one of those jobs where you put in work and you get it all back,” he said. “Just to see the look on your patient's face when you help them — I think it's great. It's a great field to get into. I would encourage anyone to get into it and I think a lot of people are getting into it now too for that reason.”
My grandpa actually. He was diagnosed with diabetes and unfortunately passed away. When I was in the hospital with them, just seeing how nurses cared for him in his last few days, I was like "I want to be a part of this. I want to give back and help people." And not only the patients but the families that are in need, so that was it for me.
I wanted to go into LVN school and I was looking at colleges around the area. I went to some orientations and ACC offered an evening and weekends program. I thought that was perfect because I work full time and I have a family, and this was just perfect for me to go to school at night and I could still work during the day. Not only that, I think this college has the most graduates that I hear have good things to say about this program.
The best part of nursing is just being able to provide, to give yourself up and provide for someone else in need. I think "need" is the key word — giving up yourself for other people in need. That for me is the best thing about nursing is providing — providing care.
The hardest part I think would be the same thing: providing care. It's still a job, but you still have to have compassion for people and you want to provide the best care. I think sometimes as a nurse you're hard on yourself because you want to make sure you're providing the best care for someone and that may not always be possible.
I would tell myself it's going to be a long road. It's going to be tough, there's going to be times where you want to give up, you're going to question yourself, 'Is this for me?' but I don't give up. Keep working hard, stay focused, because at the end of the day you're going to go to pinning ceremony — like we are today — you're going to graduate and it's going to be worth it.
There were a lot of times. Thankfully — gratefully — I did pretty good through this program but there were a couple times where it wasn't clicking for me. I think the frustrating part is your classmates are doing good and you're struggling, but what I realized is every student has strengths and weaknesses, so you might do good in this subject, your classmate may not and vice-versa. There were times where I felt like giving up but I just kept going. I just kept going.
What helped me get through that is, honestly, I have a 2-year-old daughter and I do not want to give up for her. I just want to keep pushing for her and I want to be a role model for her. She's here tonight and I want her to see this and be able to say, “Oh, that's my dad! He's doing good things.” So, it's for her.
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. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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