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"No matter what your circumstances are, you can succeed as long as you’re willing to work hard and persevere."
After high school, Shawn Day worked for four years at a recovery center for addictions as a behavioral clinician. His passion was to serve others and make a difference in the mental health space, and as he continued to grow into the role, he became more interested in serving in a bigger way. After shadowing a nurse, Shawn realized how much more he could do if he received his nursing license.
That’s when Shawn decided he wanted to pursue a high-quality education.
As an adult student going back to college, Shawn needed a cost-efficient option with flexible hours. When he decided to embark on his educational journey, he chose Ivy Tech Community College in Richmond because he knew he could continue working full-time while still attending classes.
In the fall of 2021, Shawn began his journey to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) with 10 other students in his cohort. He expressed the important role these other students played in his life as they learned, studied, and encouraged each other throughout their experience. He also shared that nursing school can be challenging at times, especially having to work up to twelve hours in clinicals.
“My cohort was so important while going through school,” he explained. “We would often encourage and help each other study.”
Not only did Shawn’s classmates help him succeed, his teachers also inspired him along the way. In fact, three of Shawn’s professors, Holly Lamar, Sabrina Rutherford, and Darcie Greene, sparked much of Shawn’s curiosity and critical thinking skills.
“My professors were always willing to answer any questions and helped me think critically about what I was learning,” Shawn revealed. “I’m grateful for their guidance and patience in teaching me how to be the best nurse I can be.”
After graduating in October 2022, Shawn began studying for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the national exam required for every individual wanting to become a licensed nurse. He spent significant time studying and taking practice tests in preparation for the big day. He believes Ivy Tech classes and professors prepared him well for the NCLEX by providing students NCLEX-style questions and encouraging hands-on learning during clinicals.
Shawn passed the NCLEX with flying colors before he was offered a job at the Recovery Center for Addictions, where he has gladly accepted the position and is excited to make a difference in the lives of his future patients. As he reflected with us on his experience, Shawn left us with some words of advice for anyone considering to further their educational and career goals.
“The best advice I can give to a new student is to never give up, even when it’s hard,” he told us. “Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s journey because everyone is coming from different backgrounds and different situations. No matter what your circumstances are, you can succeed as long as you’re willing to work hard and persevere.”
By Rachel Stuffle, Director of Public Affairs
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