More than 80 West Coast University graduates and their families gathered at the Plano Event Center this November to celebrate the completion of their bachelor's and master's nursing programs.
"It's one of the biggest achievements of my life, because it's been a long time (coming)," WCU-Dallas BSN graduate Jeevan Shrestha said. "I finally found nursing and I stuck to it. Now, it means the world to me."
Shrestha said his desire to work in health care was sparked after he came to the assistance of an elderly, blind woman. That moment changed his life, he said, and everything from that day had led up to this celebration.
"I'm really happy because I now have such an opportunity (to help more people). I'm glad I chose West Coast University," he said.
Tiffany Ward was already working full-time as a nurse when she decided to enroll in West Coast University's online master of science in nursing program. Ward would eventually like to be a clinical instructor, she said, and her work had encouraged her to further her education.
"I chose West Coast for its convenience online, the fact that they were super supportive of online learning and it's extremely affordable," Ward said.
Despite earning her degree online and not knowing any of the other WCU students at commencement, Ward said her achievement and WCU's graduation ceremony was just as exciting for her as when she first became a nurse. Some of her family had even flown in from Taiwan for the celebration, she added.
"It's just exciting to meet your goals and to be able to walk across the stage and have family there to cheer you on," she said. "Just keep reaching for your dreams."
After serving six years in the Marine Corps, Alesa Jimenez said she was looking for her next challenge when a co-worker recommended West Coast University to her.
Jimenez said she felt that her clinical experiences and the simulation lab at West Coast University had prepared her for the next step. She encouraged people interested in health care to give it a chance.
"It's not easy, but they shouldn't give up," she said. "Anybody can do it you. I have a family with three young children, and I just think you can do it."