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"Being a nursing assistant first is a good 'foot in the door,' especially for those with families to support."

CHRIS

"Nursing Hit Him Like a Ton Of Bricks"

Chris did not set out to become a nurse. He managed a party supply store for thirteen years and thought he would do it forever. That is until the birth of his first child.

Chris soon realized that working 60 to 80 hours a week managing a store, left little time or energy for his family. He needed a job with flexible hours, a decent salary and good benefits for his young family.

Fire fighting seemed like a good choice, but Chris soon discovered it was the medical aspect of being a firefighter he enjoyed most, so he trained to become an EMT and drive an ambulance. It was Chris' contact with the hospital emergency room during EMT training that sold him on Nursing: "it hit me like a ton of bricks." Chris knew he wanted to spend more time with patients and less time behind the wheel of an ambulance.

His first step was to become a certified nurse assistant (CNA). With just two months of training, Chris was working on the pediatrics unit in a major hospital. "Being a CNA is a great foot in door," says Chris, "once you are working in the clinical setting you can look around and see first hand where you want to go."

With work, school and a family (Chris and his wife now have 3 kids), Chris is moving toward his nursing degree by taking classes three nights per week. The important thing is, he now knows exactly where he wants to end up, "Pediatric nursing, of course, I've got three kids, so I'm half way there."