In celebration of Nurses Month, Concorde is proud to pass the mic over to our nursing grads. We recently caught up with Allison Lyon, Vocational Nursing alumna from Concorde Career College, San Bernardino. Read about her Concorde experience and what led her to choose a Vocational Nursing training path.
Q: Full Name
A: Allison Lyon
Q: Which Concorde campus did you attend?
A: San Bernardino, CA
Q: What year did you graduate?
Q: Name of the Program you completed at Concorde?
A: Vocational Nursing
Q: What is your current place of employment and what is your job title?
A: Instructor, Stanbridge University - Health Administration and General Education Departments
Q: What inspired you to pursue an education in nursing?
A: I grew up living on site at the Ronald McDonald House in St. Petersburg, Florida - a home-away-from-home for the families of critically ill, pediatric patients receiving treatment at the local children’s hospital. My mother was the Resident Director for 33 years, and that experience shaped my life in so many positive ways. My childhood playmates were the kids that stayed with us while battling leukemia and receiving treatment at the hospital next door, recovering from cardiac and neuro surgeries, among many others. My upbringing impacted me so greatly, that I have always felt a calling to serve patients. This is why I decided to pursue nursing school.
Q: What inspired you to pursue healthcare career training at Concorde?
A: At the age of 40, I decided to pursue a lifelong dream: nursing school. I have always wanted to be a nurse; however, I was afraid I wouldn’t pass the science pre-requisites because science is not my strong suit. Twenty years ago, I took the “safe” path and completed a Master of Health Administration instead. Unfortunately, working in hospital management was not fulfilling for me - I wanted to care directly for patients. Yet my fear of failure ruled my decision to even apply to nursing school. One day, someone very wise said to me, “Do what scares you…the scarier the better.” I pushed down my fear and applied to nursing school. I am so fortunate that now here I am… a graduate! I completed those pesky pre-requisite courses that scared me so much, and I now hold a 4.0 GPA and am Valedictorian of my program.
Q: How did Concorde prepare you for a career in nursing?
A: When I decided to become a student at Concorde, it was not a decision I took lightly. Fulfilling my dream of becoming a nurse would be challenging and scary, but I was ready to rise to the occasion. Concorde prepared me to be a competent and skilled Vocational Nurse. This program has given me the confidence to know that because I put my best effort into my education and the school gave me the finest education available, that I will succeed in providing high quality, compassionate, and skilled care to my patients.
Q: What is your fondest memory you have about your time at Concorde?
A: Nursing school is a team effort, and I became very close with my cohort classmates who are amazing, incredible people. We supported and helped each other, studied together and showed up for each other every day of this program. We formed lifelong friendships while we were singing, dancing, and having potluck lunches; putting silly sticky note signs on each other’s backs; stealing each other’s ID badges, phones and even license plates. We deal with a lot of life and a lot of death in our chosen profession, and the fun parts got us through the tough parts.
Q: Since graduating from Concorde, what professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I was honored to receive the Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing from Concorde Career College San Bernardino. I also was honored that the university I taught for as part-time faculty throughout nursing school offered me a full-time faculty position as soon as I graduated.
Q: What advice do you have for students considering a Concorde nursing program?
A: The students I see who are most successful are the ones who stay in touch with their classmates, form study groups, make friendships, and offer support to others. You all will succeed together! You will likely have a moment or two (or three…or four…) where you feel like this program is overwhelming, you’re exhausted, and you just want to cry. That is when you phone a friend for support. Don’t quit! Keep going! I know it may seem like the path ahead of you is long. Nursing school is as much as battle sometimes as it is a journey. Trust me, the days might seem to stretch on, but soon you’ll look back on the many months of hard work, and it will feel like it flew by. I remember my first day of school, sitting in orientation not knowing what to expect. I remember late nights and very early mornings of studying. Keep going, keep fighting, keeping pushing yourself even when it gets tough. YOU CAN DO THIS. I have faith in you!!!