WCU Graduate Spotlight: Razvan Ponoran, BSN

Posted on 06/05/2016

Razvan Ponoran had always wanted to get into healthcare, but it wasn’t until a family emergency that he knew exactly what he wanted to do.

In 2009, Ponoran said he felt “powerless” after coming home from work to discover his father had suffered a stroke. After rushing to the hospital, Ponoran’s family was anxious and emotionally drained while waiting for test results in the emergency room. A nurse entered, Ponoran said, and held his mother’s hand while describing the situation and what was going to happen next.

Think You're Having a Stroke? Act F.A.S.T.!

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. When you can spot the signs, call 9-1-1 for help right away.

F.A.S.T. is:

  • Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue." Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 9-1-1: If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Source: American Stroke Association

“He calmed us down, and I was just looking around and how crazy I viewed it, and this nurse is just sitting there holding my mom’s hand," Ponoran said. "That moment, right then and there, I looked at the guy that was taking care of my dad and I looked at the environment and said, 'This is what I want to do.' And from there on, it was just nursing.”

Ponoran and his brother, Serban, were both motivated to become nurses and said they chose to attend West Coast University-Dallas due to its accelerated program. Ponoran had already finished his core classes and prerequisites at a community college and did not want to be put on a wait-list.

After researching various nursing schools in the area, Ponoran and his brother decided they didn’t need to look any further after checking out the WCU-Dallas campus.

“We went to visit the school and walked out with my schedule of classes,” Ponoran said. “WCU was there when I needed it most and was exactly what I needed.”

Two years and two months later, Ponoran and his brother received their nurse’s pin at a recent ceremony with their BSN cohort and are now studying for boards. In July 2016, Ponoran begins working at The Medical Center of Plano in a combined trauma, critical care and burn unit.

“I like to think on my feet a little and the fact that I’ll be working on three units will be great," he said. "This is exactly what I want to head towards.”

Ponoran said he’s learned a lot professionally in the past two years but also discovered things about himself. He said he’ll never forget that day when his mother was shaking and crying in the hospital and a nurse simply took her hand and calmly spoke to her.

“I realized I just don’t want to do this for money or prestige that I’m in healthcare or something, it’s seeing how that nurse helped my family,” he said. “Now when I walk into a hospital, I don’t look at it as a job anymore. For me, it’s more than just that, I guess.”

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