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Micoy Gonzalez (Bachelor’s of Science, Nursing) discusses his big decision to make a change by returning to school. Here’s his story.
In the several years I have been working as a vocational nurse, I was fortunate enough to have been given opportunities for advancement, professional development and learn more responsibilities in the skilled nursing setting. It would have been simple for me to settle for being an assistant to the director of nursing in a skilled nursing facility. I was making a fairly remunerative salary and was able to provide for my family. However, the nagging feeling of knowing I am capable of learning more and doing more to help people never left my thoughts. Now that I am a father, and have had experience working as a LVN, I am a student at a later time in my life with a clear determination to achieve getting my RN license in order to accomplish more in this field of healthcare.
In my own immediate family, my father and mother were not able to complete college because they had me and my sister, and they were not able to pursue their education afterwards. My sister did not finish college because she also needed to provide for her family.
I was determined not to repeat the same patterns of not continuing my educational and personal goals. Finally, I acted and went back to school for my RN license. Timing was everything, since it was after my wife completed school and my children grew a little older. Being a family man has made it difficult to fill this role as a student, but not impossible.
As a man wanting to provide for his family, I have passed up opportunities to pick up shifts at work in order to study, write papers or attend clinical. I’ve been declining invitations to hang out with friends (before COVID) since school started. And I missed pre-COVID East Coast family gathering, so that I wouldn’t be behind in school.
I sacrifice all this and think of the reason why I started this journey: to pursue my career goals. I keep my end goal in mind and where I’ll be five years from now: an RN, perhaps a Nurse Manager. The student journey as an adult learner is difficult, but not impossible.
In my mind, I gave myself two options: do it now, or regret not doing it, later. When anyone truly determines they want to accomplish a goal for themselves, while also thinking that they have no other option but to succeed, that person will do anything they have to see their goal fulfilled.
Since coming to NU, I have been active in the Alumni Association (yes–even students can join) and on NU’s MentorMe platform, building mentoring skills and my network. I started my #30DaysofChange with one decision, and it was one of the best I’ve ever made.