I still remember the day I got the news that I was accepted into Elgin Community College’s nursing program. I knew I was embarking on a journey that would be perilous and full of challenges, but I accepted that knowing I would be one of the lucky ones with the opportunity to do what I love as a career. I had heard the tales of nursing school; it would be the center of my life for the next two years, taking over every quiet moment, rearranging how I thought, and stealing away my precious hours of sleep.
Nothing—not even the stories or advice—could have prepared me for all the tears, exams, and support that I received across the semesters. I entered into a community where everyone understood what you were going through, lent a listening ear, and offered a shoulder to cry on. If it weren't for my classmates and my amazing instructors, I definitely would not be here…at the end of the program and ready to graduate. Although I plan on continuing my education to eventually become a nurse anesthetist, I am leaving ECC with the solid foundation I need to be successful in my career.
When I go to clinical, I always come in contact with ECC alumni. They are the ones that anticipate the needs of their patients and go that extra mile in their care. Because of this excellent program and extensive education, I feel confident knowing I will join the list of the many ECC alumni who work as nurses and excel in their field. Every time I enter a patient's room for the first time, I carry with me the teaching of all my instructors and support of all my classmates.
To anyone that is looking to enter the nursing program, I say without any hesitation: Do it! Make the leap! Do it, knowing it will change your life, but also knowing that in between all the stress, early mornings, and studying, you will find the biggest support system and the kindest of souls.
~Jessica R. Mata, South Elgin