Being a nurse sometimes requires making split-second decisions.
At a recent West Coast University-Los Angeles resource fair and ice cream social, more than 150 nursing students got a taste of what it takes to make tough choices — namely: chocolate, vanilla, rocky road or strawberry.
“I think this is an awesome way for us to get students engaged with Career Services early on so that they are looking for opportunities before they graduate, so that by the time they do graduate, they already have a possible career plan for them to work at a facility,” WCU-LA Career Services Director Arpine Zohrabyan said.
Career Services provides students with a variety of resources, Zohrabyan said, including help finding volunteer work or new graduate programs, and assistance with résumé writing, cover letters or setting up a LinkedIn profile page. At the resource fair, Zohrabyan and her staff handed out informational flyers and answered questions. If students filled out a survey form, they were treated to an ice cream sundae, complete with a variety of toppings.
Why become a CNA?
Working as a certified nursing assistant can be a great way to introduce yourself to the nursing field or potential work facilities. After taking a nursing fundamentals course, WCU students are eligible to test for CNA certification.
“As a certified nursing assistant, you are networking with the facility so when they do have a new graduate program opening, the likelihood of hiring someone from within is much higher than somebody from the outside. And students do get that hands-on training as a CNA with patients so they become more confident and seasoned.”
— Arpine Zohrabyan
WCU-LA Career Services director
“Many students might think they only need Career Services when they’re done with school. However we do help them while they are on campus and while they’re in school," Zohrabyan said. "We are 100 percent supportive of all our students and graduates, whether they graduated a month ago or two years ago, we are here to assist them. We are their No. 1 resource and we meet with every single gradate."
WCU-LA BSN student Christine Herrera said she recently took part in a mock interview with Career Services in preparation for her job interview at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.
Herrera said Career Services helped her with her résumé, gave her tips on what to wear and advice on how to stand out during her panel interview.
“It’s kind of prepares you so any question you could possibly get hit with, you already know and you know how to break down an answer and just be the best representation of yourself in these situations," Herrera said. "Career Services is definitely there for that and so much more."
Herrera said she had always wanted to be in healthcare and, after working in home care for three years, was impressed with the different kinds of help a nurse could provide to a variety of patients. She said WCU's accelerated program had greatly improved her time management and she was looking forward to applying those hard-earned skills at her new job.
"I love that West Coast University is able to provide these kinds of events because we hear about what Career Services does a lot in workshops and class visits but this is even better because we’re reminded again that they’re always there for us, for anything that we need. And it’s a nice treat too,” she said.