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The Power of Perseverance

33-year-old Marine Corp veteran and hairdresser of five years wanted a career change. Brittany Stein knew she wanted to return to school to become a nurse but the road to a successful career change came paired with a few difficult detours.

Stein first applied to the practical nursing program in 2013 and fell short of the minimum requirements. However, holding the setback to her advantage with a plan to reapply, she enrolled in phlebotomy courses at the college and began work as a lab technician with the New Hanover County Physicians Group.

In 2016, Stein was accepted. She entered the program and continued to work full-time. Of her time in the program, Stein said, “It was hard going to school with younger people. I had this anxiety about going back to school as an older adult that I didn’t have before.” The anxiety most affected Stein in her test-taking abilities. The stress from working full-time and the anxiety caused by being an adult learner in the program weighed heavily on Stein; she failed out of the program, less than one point shy of a passing grade.

Despite the slowdowns, Stein’s determination and desire to become a nurse propelled her forward. Prior to reapplying, she worked two jobs to save enough money to go through the program without having to work. She re-entered the program, sought help from college resources in the Veterans Center and Disability Services, and was able to overcome her anxiety.

Stein received her practical nursing pin August 2, 2018.

Her driving force? “I really wanted it,” Stein said. “If I can make a difference in one patient’s life, I am satisfied. At the end of the day on my drive home, I will be proud of myself because I’ll have made a small difference in someone’s life.”

Interested in learning more about the CFCC nursing program?