Ryan enrolled in NCC's nursing degree program after hearing about it from a colleague at Lowell General Hospital while he was a CNA in the emergency room. CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) who work in the ER take non-critical patients into rooms, and monitor and record their vital signs. They also prepare patients for X-rays or bring them a blanket to keep warm.

“I observed the nurses and saw the care they provided. I always wanted to be a nurse, but didn’t know what to do to get there,” said Ryan, a 24-year old resident of Dracut, Massachusetts.

He started out as a patient sitter in the psychiatric unit. Patient sitter duties include supervising patients, alerting nurses and other healthcare professionals when needed, and providing emotional support to patients.

Ryan worked his way into a Patient Care Technician role, and then turned his sights to nursing. Once at Nashua Community College, he dove into the program.

“The best part was the people. My classmates really helped me get though; we were all in it together.”

NCC celebrates the Class of 2023 on Friday, May 19 at 10 AM, but Nursing has a special Pinning Ceremony for seniors on Thursday, May 18 at 6 PM.

Nursing graduates can choose a loved one to join them on stage and present them with their nursing pin. After graduation, Ryan’s goal is to work at Lowell General Hospital as a nurse, potentially starting with the telemetry unit. Telemetry is an observation tool for continuous ECG, RR, SpO2 monitoring while the patient remains active without being attached to a bedside cardiac monitor. Next, he hopes to go to emergency services.

“Eventually, I want to apply to a BSN program at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, then possibly on to a master’s,” he said.

Advice for Future Students

“Be smart with your time, nursing school is a lot. Prioritize time working with classmates, because they will help you a lot, and give yourself time to relax and cool down, and focus on yourself, and you’ll get through it.


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