August 21, 2019

As a military spouse, Jessica Torres has moved from place to place, time and time again.

“I have had to start over eight times in the last 15 years,” she explained.

When she moved to the Ft. Leonard Wood area in 2017, she discovered East Central College in Rolla. She reached out to the nursing program immediately.

“From that moment, I knew my goal to become a registered nurse was no longer just a thought,” she said. “ECC was the first program I had found in 15 years that worked with my schedule, accepted the classes I had already taken and allowed for clinical rotations on the weekends.”

She enrolled in the LPN to RN Bridge Program in Rolla. The program is designed to provide students who already have an LPN license the educational flexibility to complete registered nursing classes in a way that meets their needs.

“The evening and every-other-weekend format allows LPN’s to still work while taking courses,” said Nancy Mitchell, dean of health sciences. “The program also uses distance-learning technology to enhance access and flexibility.”

“Each and every person in ECC’s nursing program helped me along the way,” she said. “From the program assistants to the advisors to the instructors, they all pointed me in the right direction. They were always available and supportive.“

In December 2018, she received her Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. “The amount of pride that came along with finally fulfilling my dream was amazing,” she said.

Shortly after graduation, the news came – it was time for Torres to move once again. This time to Texas.

“It was sad news,” she admitted. “I had made so many great connections because of East Central College. I will forever be grateful for my education. The nursing faculty and staff are one in a million, and I will always be a proud graduate of the program.”

Torres is continuing her education at the University of Texas – El Paso to achieve her bachelors in nursing.





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