ACC Graduate Spotlight: Brandon Blackburn


After serving his county in the U.S. Marines, Brandon Blackburn now wants to serve his fellow soldiers.

"I always wanted to help ever since I got out of the military," Blackburn said before receiving his vocational nursing pin from American Career College-Ontario. "I wanted something that can also serve people and so nursing is one of those opportunities that let me fulfill that."

Blackburn joined the Marines right out of high school, spending more than four years in the service as a field artilleryman, including one tour in Iraq. After leaving the military in 2011, he searched for what do next and contemplated studying either medical assisting or dental assisting until he decided to be a nurse.

He enrolled at a local community college for a semester, but said the wait for classes was too long and he "wanted to get the ball rolling." Thirteen months later, the former Marine is now a vocational nurse and looking to pursue advanced degrees.

"It's kind of overwhelming at times, but you persevere and you do it," he said. "The end goal is actually to get my RN and a master's in nursing, so I wanted to start from vocational nursing and work my way up."

Eventually Blackburn says he wants to run his own mental health facility. He discovered his passion for the field during his last term in the VN program and plans to continue working in that area.

"Service members come back and they come back damaged. Running a mental health facility will give me an opportunity to give back to them," he said. "I am taking this as an opportunity to educate myself and be in a position where I can give back to the veterans."

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