Registered Nurse, Emergency DepartmentBaylor University Medical Center
“This was my fourth career change. I’d already had careers in the Royal Air Force, the British Foreign Service and the IT industry. This time, I wanted a career where I could really make a difference in people’s lives.
“Nursing is such a vast field that no one program can prepare you for everything — there are so many directions to take, from geriatrics to pediatrics to hospice care. For my introduction to nursing, I chose an internship in the ER at Baylor University Medical Center-Dallas. This opportunity allowed me to build my skills and gave me a valuable insight into the varied career opportunities that nursing offers.
“I recently changed my focus and now specialize in caring for patients in the end-stages of life as an RN case manager for a local hospice. I continue to look back at my time here and the wonderful opportunities that the nursing program has given me.
“The Associate Degree Nursing program gave me the basic preparation for my career in nursing. No program can prepare you for everything you will see in the clinical setting, but this one prepared me well to take and pass the NCLEX examination. The most valuable part of my education was the clinical rotations — medical, surgical, psychiatric, labor and delivery, and pediatric — which gave me a greater exposure to the wide variety of careers in nursing.
“In terms of personal attributes, I think it helps to be older when you enter the nursing profession. Nursing can be very challenging, and it helps to be able to draw on life experiences in dealing with different personalities. Being confident and organized is also essential, and of course you need to be prepared to work as part of a team.
“Nursing is not a career to take lightly. This program gave me a foundation of skills that allowed me to build on my life experience and go forward with a new career.”
Originally from England, Mark Powell had careers in the Royal Air Force and British Foreign Service, as well as the IT industry, before earning an associate degree in Nursing.