Nursing Grads Share Their Gratitude

Every nurse has a story of why they chose their calling. What they gain at COD extends far beyond the classroom creating an individual emotional sensibility and tremendous skillset to care for those of all ages, cultures, races, backgrounds and conditions of health and wellness. They leave the program ready to serve our Valley for decades to come.

Jennifer Escobar

“I’ve never worked for something so hard in my life, and I am accomplishing something so amazing,” exclaims Jennifer. Raised by a single mother who came to this country as a refugee, Jennifer says her mother emphasized the need for expanding her education and gaining financial independence. As a single mother herself, she was relieved to find she could rely upon on COD’s scholarships and loves the time she has spent in the skills lab and simulation bay. “I wouldn’t be graduating if it wasn’t for the support of our generous donors and for the tremendous resources given to us.”

Greatly moved by her time working in the emergency room, Jennifer wants to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). She devoted her research on the effect that SANE nurses have on helping survivors. “As a woman and having friends and family that have gone through experiences and have benefited personally by the care of SANE nurses, I was inspired by how they helped make a traumatic experience that much more bearable.”

Francisco Magana

“I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment in graduating,” Francisco shares. “I have suffered a lot of personal grief while in school, and my parents have sacrificed a lot for me. I have grown to be a better man, son and now a nurse on this journey, and I am excited for my future.” For years, Francisco was an EMT, where the emergency room nurses kept asking him when he was going to join them. His compassion and concern for the patients, often checking up on them days later, made him a standout among the other EMTs.

Francisco is proud to graduate from COD’s highly acclaimed Nursing Program, but it is his classmates who have made all the difference for him. Recently losing his father, he was considering dropping back a semester, but his friends helped him through his loss and kept him on track to graduate. “They are my family,” he reflects.

Now set on becoming a Wound Care Certified Nurse, Francisco says a car accident in 2019, where he lost his friend, led him into the specialty. “I needed wound care on my left leg and in seeing the process I was inspired by what the nurse was doing. There is a shortage of wound care nurses in the Valley. It’s crucial to a patient’s recovery and I want to ease the burden.”

Daysi Guzman

Daysi’s call to nursing was inspired by her son who was born with metopic craniosynostosis. “My son’s head was open for surgery from ear to ear and I was terrified,” she shared. “One particular nurse stayed with me and shared pictures of her child who happened to have the same diagnosis. She showed me pictures of the procedure and how to care for him. I knew this was my calling.”

Originally from El Salvador, Daysi will be the first in her family to graduate from college. Though she had hoped to continue working in the home healthcare field while going to school, she eventually had to focus on the program full time. “Without the donors, I would not have had such incredible opportunities to learn from some of the best teachers and lecturers and gain experience using the best equipment. Her new focus is to become an ICU nurse, earn her master’s degree and eventually teach nursing. “I want my son to know that education is powerful. I want him to understand that no matter your background, with hard work and dedication, you can accomplish anything.

Ruby Carrillo

Inspired by her mom who graduated from the Nursing Program at COD in 2014, Ruby believes that nurses represent the epitome of being a superhero. “Nurses have grit. They are strong and not scared of saying what they feel, yet they care for others with grace,” she shares. She spent her last semester in the ICU and the emergency department as she is concentrating on helping others through critical care. Ruby says she is energized by the fast pace: “You have adrenaline when you walk in the door. COD has prepared me for my career. Their program is a huge commitment, and I have survived many challenges and made many sacrifices. Now I feel empowered and ready.”

On behalf of COD’s recently graduated nurses, who have collectively shared with us: “We are incredibly grateful for the scholarships you have given us; you have eased our financial burdens and made it possible for us to get our degree. And the professional Skills and Simulation Labs have prepared us for what we will be doing with patients. We even have a simulation for a mother to deliver a baby. Armed with the education you have provided; I am proud to serve our community as a nurse.”

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