Saving a life isn’t a bad way to start a career.

“I’m the son of Latino immigrants. My mother is Costa Rican and my father is Nicaraguan. I was a troubled kid growing up in a tough environment, yet I was the first in my family to graduate high school. I’d been working hard since I was 13, but never knew what kind of future I wanted. I dabbled in many trades and earned an associate degree in criminal justice, becoming a corrections officer.

But it was when COVID came along that that I found my true calling. I had no background in medicine, but somehow the pandemic stirred up medical knowledge I didn’t know I had—and turned my passion and drive to help people in need of healing into what’s become a lifelong mission.

That passion led me to choose the Practical Nursing program at Belmont College. I was able to earn a scholarship, which was a blessing. The amazing instructors and staff treated me with the utmost respect. I am a hands-on learner, and I had plenty of opportunity to practice and perfect my craft. It only drove me even more to learn.

Immediately after graduation, I began working in a hospital medical-surgery unit, gaining valuable experience. Today, I’m broadening my skills working in a rehabilitation nursing home.

I’ve already experienced my first code blue. I was checking on residents when I found one who wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. There was no veteran nurse nearby, so I did what my Belmont instructors had taught me to do. I stayed calm and collected, performed CPR like there was no tomorrow, and brought the patient back. Not bad for a “baby nurse.”

I plan to enter Belmont’s LPN-RN transitional program as the next step toward a successful career. My advice for anyone interested in pursuing nursing is that if you do it from your heart, you’ll grow to love it. The little things you do to brighten someone’s day will brighten yours too.”