Career Change Leads Veterans to MNU Nursing Program
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
It is estimated that adults change jobs 11 times in a lifetime, but less often do they change the entire trajectory of their professional lives. However, a select group of MNU students does that every year by preparing for a new career in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (ABSN). Two students in this year’s group come to the program with unique backgrounds.
Cedric Claros is from New Jersey and after a career as a Marine combat arms officer, he became a military contractor. Cedric says he needed a change, and the desire to help others, particularly veterans, is the common thread.
"My mother is a nurse and she said why don't you try nursing," he says. "I wondered if I dared to transition in my 30s. Being a contractor in Afghanistan was lucrative, but it wasn't a career. Healthcare just made more and more sense. I think the service aspect of the military fits well with nursing.”
The change in locales from the East Coast to the middle of the country has been somewhat of a culture shock, but he loves what he found at MNU— faith-based education and professors who always have his success in mind.
Eddie Mwangi immigrated to the US from Kenya. Having majored in physics in Kenya, he was a teacher in his first career. Eddie says his desire to become a nurse started with an injury at age 10 when he fell from a mango tree and broke his leg. He hid the injury from his mother until he was in such pain he couldn’t stand it. Living a long way from a clinic and with no car, Eddie’s brother had to carry him to get help. By this time, he had developed a severe blood clot, but doctors were able to save him and set his leg. When he recovered, he told his mother he wanted to help others by being a doctor.
As with many adults, life circumstances required a different path and he put the dream of being a doctor aside. Once in the US, Eddie joined the Army and then became an LPN. He realized he could make more of a difference with a BSN.
Both Cedric and Eddie were excited to learn about MNU’s one-year ABSN program that helps adults with a college degree (or significant college credit) become bachelor’s-educated nurses quickly. The program is intense and while Eddie had a strong science background Cedric’s degree was in political science.
"I had a lot of apprehensions when I first started, and Eddie has heard a lot of my rants," Cedric says. "But if you have that drive, time management skills and the tenacity to get through no matter what, you can do it.”
“Being a Christian school, I think the faith has truly pushed us because you know, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” Eddie adds. “It is so helpful being molded together by the Christian faith. And the professors have been amazing. They are always there for us. It’s an amazing experience.”
In August their program will be completed, and they can take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) exam required for licensure. And while Eddie plans to stay in Kansas, Cedric plans to move to Texas near family. He is glad that the NCLEX allows for licensure reciprocity in all 50 states.
Cedric hopes to work in mental health and eventually with veterans. Eddie is interested in medical-surgical nursing. Both men are lifelong learners and plan to gain graduate-level education in nursing.