Baylor-Irving Hospital Progressive Care Unit
“I was in the health insurance business for 20 years but got laid off after Sept. 11, 2001. I was tired of what I was doing anyway and wanted to look for something different. Then my husband got sick, and I was really impressed by the nurses who took care of him. I thought, if I could go home from work for just one day having made a positive impact on people the way his nurses had an impact on me, I would have done my job.
“I decided to go back to school. A Dallas College campus was right across the street from my house, so I took the entrance exams for the Associate Degree Nursing program there.
“My nursing education was excellent: tough, thorough and challenging. By the time I took my board exams, I felt completely confident and ready. I felt as prepared as many of my colleagues who had graduated from four-year university nursing programs.
“This program is accelerated, and there is nothing easy about it. I didn’t expect it to be easy; if it had been, it wouldn’t have prepared me for real work as a nurse. But my education provided me with everything I needed for a nursing career in just 16 months.
“The most important thing I learned — besides learning how to take care of people — is that I could go back to school at age 45 and actually accomplish something. This is my first college degree, and I proved to myself that I could do it.
“I really want to remain in patient care as a nurse, but if I ever do want a different career, I could go back into the health insurance business with my nursing degree and have a lot of job options.
“I recommend this program to others. I checked out several programs before I started, and this beats the others hands-down.”
Lisa Price earned an Associate in Applied Sciences degree in Nursing in December 2006.
As a registered nurse in Baylor-Irving Hospital’s Progressive Care Unit, she cares for patients too sick for a regular floor but not critical enough for the intensive care unit. She was offered the position after completing her ADN program’s final clinical rotation there.
Day-to-day duties include taking care of patients, giving medications, charting, interpreting lab values and dealing with patients’ families.