Nursing Student Profiles

Student Profile - KellyKelly
COCC Nursing Student

My journey to entering the COCC nursing program was a long, complex adventure. I grew up with a family of healthcare professionals, yet after high school I went to Cal State Long Beach and earned a bachelor's degree in marine biology, a goal I had set my mind to since I was a young girl. Just prior to graduation, I had some health challenges arise, which caused me to change paths in order to keep my health insurance. Rather than working in an industry that I loved, I chose to work my way up the corporate ladder through two major US companies until I finally realized that I was no longer happy and was underutilized in my role. After reconnecting with family in Oregon, my husband and I moved to Bend (where I was born) in 2011. I began working for a company that supports adults with developmental disabilities and truly fell in love with helping support the clients in daily activities that most of us take for granted. I found out about the COCC Nursing Program from a good friend at work and decided to look into what it would entail. I always wanted to go back to school and loved helping people, but was I too old to go back? After careful consideration, support from my family and lots of prayer, I returned to school in spring 2015 to complete the remainder of the prerequisites for the Nursing Program. A year later, I completed the requirements, applied to the program, and anxiously awaited my acceptance letter. Receiving that letter is one of the proudest moments of my life.

I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of the COCC Nursing Program. This program is respected and loved by the Central Oregon community, and now that I am a part of it, I understand why. I truly appreciate how immersive the program is placing us in the clinical setting early on in our education with tons of in-class lectures and lab hours. I love how the program is training us to care for people as a whole to look beyond the disease or diagnosis and truly treat the patients every need. The COCC Nursing program is a professional, fast-paced and challenging program that facilitates growth and comradery amongst its students. In the short amount of time we have been in this program, I have made some very strong connections and friendships with my fellow classmates.

The backbone of this program is the COCC Nursing Faculty they work tirelessly through the year to create an enriched learning environment within the college and the community of Bend. The love and dedication that the instructors have for the students is evident in their willingness to help, encourage, educate, and motivate each student through this program. The faculty truly want each student to succeed and they are willing to sit down and listen to anyone who steps into their office. I have never felt so supported and genuinely cared for by an instructor until I met the COCC Nursing Faculty.

I have always had a strong desire to help others whether it was through job training or teaching classes at local aquariums I found that aspect of life quite enjoyable. Working with special needs individuals, providing end-of-life care for my grandfather and in-home care for other family members is what truly shaped my decision to become a nurse. I want to help be a voice for people who may not have the means to speak up for themselves whether by lack of verbal ability, loss of cognition or any other form of communication barrier that could be present. I enjoy critical thinking, sharing knowledge amongst my peers, and brainstorming especially in regards to patient care. Bringing peace and joy to patients through memories, music, or by simply holding their hand especially during what could be some of their darkest moments in life is what drives me to become a nurse.

There is so much variety to where you can work as a nurse, which is why I appreciate the wide range of clinical experiences we are offered as students. While I do not know the exact setting of where I want to spend the bulk of my nursing career just yet, but I do know that I plan to earn a BSN and possibly a Masters degree so that I can become a nursing instructor one day. As for now, I am absorbing as much as I can from each clinical experience and know that I want to work in a hospital setting. I am interested in several areas including critical care, peri-and-post-operative, geriatric care, and hospice

Student Profile - ClaytonClayton
COCC Nursing Student

I moved to Bend from San Francisco three years ago, mainly for the outdoor lifestyle and beautiful weather I had heard about. I had worked in restaurants for five years, and it was a fine way to pay my bills for a little while, but I definitely wanted to feel a deeper sense of purpose out of my life and knew I had to get into a different long-term career.

My mother was told she would never have kids, but after a new experimental procedure and many prayers, here I am. I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the miracle of modern medicine and I think it was for this reason that Ive always been drawn towards the field. I want it to be my job to help people who are at their most vulnerable, to make a difference in their lives by showing them compassion, empathy and most importantly love.

I looked at private school RN programs but decided that COCC was the quickest and most economical route for me (plus that meant I never had to leave Bend).

The program at COCC has turned out to be amazing! I love how much and how quickly you get hands-on experience in the hospital, but the best part of the program is definitely the faculty. They are incredibly invested and care so much about shaping the way we think to become competent nurses; I cant imagine you would find this at many other programs.

As of right now, I hope to eventually end up in the operating room, but who knows where this road will take me. If you feel like its time for a career change in your life, make it happen! COCC is here to help.

Adrian CoonAdrian
Former COCC Nursing Student

I have had an interest in medicine since I was very young.  Life took me in a different direction for a bit, but after a family member passed away, I started exploring the nursing field.  I was immediately impressed with the good reviews I heard about the program – not just from other students, but the community as a whole.  When I decided to apply, I received praise and support from friends and strangers alike.  It made me feel confident in my decision to pursue a degree in Nursing from COCC.

I enjoy so many things about the program!  I was impressed with how quickly we were participating in clinicals at the hospital and putting our skills to use.  Also, the faculty are great and really accessible; I've utilized almost everyone for guidance at some point.  Mostly, I enjoy the nursing class.  I feel like we have a great camaraderie; everyone is happy and willing to help one another.

I appreciate the nursing staff and how much they legitimately care about the students.  I've had the opportunity to sit down with each instructor for various reasons, and I always felt welcomed.  Whether discussing lecture material or future career opportunities, the instructors are one of my greatest allies in the nursing program.

I thought when I entered the program, I would be more enthralled with the crazy cases I would get to see.  I knew I would obviously be working in a personal, intense atmosphere with patients, but that part did not register much with me.  I have found the opposite to be true, though.  In the short time I have been in the program, I have been amazed and humbled by the conversations and connections I've made with patients.  I personally believe it speaks so much to the human connection that we all share.  It is that notion that inspires me to work harder, study longer, and absorb everything I can in this short time to become a good nurse.

As of right now, I see myself working in an acute care setting.  I enjoy the intensity and fast-paced nature of the hospital atmosphere.  However, I am doing my best to stay open to the process and explore different options while I am in the program.  I am very interested in internal medicine; however, I find it all fascinating at this point!  I think that is what is so exciting about the nursing field: there is an avenue for everyone's interests. 

Former COCC Nursing Student

After high school I rejected the thought of going to college like many young graduates and began working, hoping to find a passion. Along this path, I worked many jobs gaining experience in many trades of construction and customer service. However, it wasn't until I received a position at a medical clinic that made it all come together. I discovered how much I loved working with people, my fascination with the human body, and medicine.

Counter intuitive of most thought processes, my favorite part about the program was how hard it was to be accepted. I worked tirelessly over two years to make my dream a reality, and it makes me even more proud when people in the community acknowledge the dedication it took to be a part of this program. Completing the program, I discovered the experience has been everything and more than I had dreamed of. I like the difficulty, and how it constantly forces me to elevate to another level of academic performance. Though the program is very intense with many critical concepts and skills to learn, it is concise and well organized.

On my first day, I had the privilege of meeting individuals that are more dedicated to their job than anyone I've met; our team of instructors. What impressed me the most, was their passion but also their ability to laugh with us and cry with us. They genuinely listen to our concerns and will make changes if they're able. They take on this daunting task every year of teaching forty eight stressed out students for nine months with a smile. Hats off to you ladies.

Being a nurse will give me the fulfillment and daily stimulation that no other job or career can. It encompasses all of the things that I had enjoyed about my slew of previous positions. It won't feel like a job for me. I look forward to clinical the same way that I look forward to any of my other hobbies. I undoubtedly love it.

When considering the area of nursing where I wish to work, I believe the answer goes along with where I am as a maturing Nurse.  As of now, I would like to either work on the medical floor or in the O.R. Later down the road in life, I'd like to pursue psychiatric nurse practitioner. I want to assist in guiding the teen demographic through their challenges.

Former COCC Nursing Student

I have known that nursing is the career I wanted to pursue since I was a little kid. When I was in middle school my mom came down with a horrible kidney infection that brought here near to death. She was surrounded by absolutely wonderful nurses; and I knew that I wanted to have a huge impact on someone's life. After high school I had a little girl and took a year off from school. I began my nursing journey doing pre-reqs 6 years ago. I finished all of my requirements and applied my first year. Sadly I was about a point off from getting in. This didn't stop me. I applied to Lane Community College Licensed Practical Nurse program and got in. I started there January of 2014 and graduated September of 2014. I worked for a year as an LPN and applied for the transfer position here at COCC. to finish my dreams of becoming an RN. I have had the experience of two different schools and the teachers at this school have gone above and beyond to make me fit in. It has been nice to get so many different nurses' perspectives. I hope to become a Labor and Delivery Nurse. I have had the honor of being a Labor Coach for a few of my friends and I feel like I am meant to do that. After the wonderful education that I am getting here I know that I will be able to fulfill my dreams of being a competent and knowledgeable nurse.

SteveSteve Pilkington
Former COCC Nursing Student

I found out about the COCC Nursing Program after moving to Bend in 2012. I transferred here to work for a business in the Old Mill District, owned by a company I had worked for almost 18 years. I knew I wanted a career change, but I was 46 years old. The Nursing Program here provides an affordable, excellent education combining an experienced and caring staff with outstanding clinical exposure at St. Charles Medical Center. The instructors at COCC are supportive, knowledgeable and take the extra time to help when I find myself struggling with new ideas or skills. They are proactive in caring and put an incredible amount of time into designing the syllabus and hands-on portions of our labs and clinical days. I had thought about nursing after witnessing the amazing care received during a family member's lengthy illness and hospitalization some years ago. It left an impression on my life, one I hope to return by offering my own care as a nurse. I plan to complete a master's degree in nursing eventually and would love to work in the perioperative environment or in critical care at a hospital. We shall see where this road takes me.