ACC Graduate Spotlight: John Rowland


It may have taken a little longer than he wished, but John Rowland is back on course. 

"I’ve always known what I want to do, but life is what it is and it takes certain roads where you just kind of have to follow," Rowland said about his vocational nurse journey before the pinning ceremony at American Career College-Ontario. "I've been derailed at times, gotten back on track. It's been off and on, and finally this is why I've ended on this route."

Rowland said he's always wanted to be in healthcare since he was little. After his first son was born via Cesarean section, Rowland decided it was his sign to enter the medical field. He first went to school in San Diego to be a lab technician, but ended up working as a medical assistant. Nearly two decades later, he graduated from the vocational nursing program at ACC.

"You come to a certain point where you can't really go any farther where you are, and it makes sense that you get more education so you have more opportunities available," he said. "I kind of thought of RN at one point but the community college system is just so clogged right now that it's really competitive."

Rowland said he was impressed by the ACC facility when he toured the campus. He visited one other school but decided the Ontario campus "was head and shoulders above what they were offering."

Thirteen months later, Rowland was back on campus to be the reflection speaker for his graduating cohort. He said his speech consisted of "a lot of thank yous" to the administration for keeping the program running smoothly, the theory instructors for the help they'd provided in class, and to the clinical skills instructors for helping prepare the cohort to go out into the working world.

"It's kind of sad, leaving the people that you bond with after a year," Rowland said, "but a year goes so fast. That's the thing that's really amazed me, is just how fast it went. They told us in the beginning of the program that one day you're going to be here and then the next day you're going to be done, and that's kind of how it ended up."

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