A two-time graduate of West Coast University, Diane R earned her ADN in 2009 and her BSN four years later. “Everyone has their own path,” alumna Diane said of the nursing journey. “I went through each level — LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN. That kind of helped me become who I am today and build on my confidence level.”
After completing her master’s degree, she went on to teach at American Career College’s Los Angeles campus, where she was voted by students as the 2020 Faculty of the Year.
She attributes part of her success to her experience at WCU and the professors who inspired her along the way. “I used to look up to my professors who were nurse practitioners,” she said. “They were my role models. They inspired me and they helped me, so I can’t believe I’m living that now.”
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
My mom always wanted to be a nurse, but she was not able to pursue this career for herself, so I took it upon myself to fulfill her dream. Through my experiences since then, my love for nursing has grown as it allows me to provide comfort and care to those who need it most. I found this very rewarding and gave me a greater purpose for my career.
Being a nurse and having that license, it opens up so many opportunities. People may not know that there’s so much you can do with your nursing license. If you don’t enjoy bedside at the hospital, you can do home health, you can do hospice, you can be a case manager. You can be an educator like me.
How was your experience at WCU? What would you tell your students about the WCU experience?
I had a great experience at WCU. The abundant and various resources provided by the school are definitely geared towards an individual’s educational and career success. From the counselors who help you with your enrollment and financial aid, to the amazing instructors who are always available, to the NCLEX resources that help you pass the exam, and, finally, to Career Services who help graduates obtain their first nursing jobs, WCU is a one-stop shop.
WCU is a big part of me living my dream today — because of my education at WCU.
Now, you have two degrees from WCU in addition to your master’s. Is there an advantage to taking your education step by step?
There is. The things that you may have missed the first round, you’re going to see it again and learn it again the second time. It really worked wonders for me. I felt like I was more prepared. I was more confident coming out to the workforce.
What is it like to now be teaching the next generation of nurses?
I think it’s amazing that I have this opportunity to be an instructor and be a part of their journey. I love continuing to improve on how I can connect with different student learners and see how I can really help them — where they are lost. Because when I was a nursing student I was lost even. I’m there to make them realize it’s OK. It’s normal. What you’re feeling right now, it’s a process and we’ll help you get through it.