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HPOG Success Story: Nicole at Missouri Department of Social Services

Published: December 18, 2019
Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG)
Technical Assistance

Nicole happily holds up her nurse's badgeJefferson City, MO

Sometimes you find family in unfamiliar places.

Nicole was one of many children in a large poor family in Missouri. Out of eleven grandchildren, she was one of only six that graduated from high school. Nicole dreamt of becoming a nurse, and knew she was ready to change her future.

Her nursing hopes went on hold when her family got a little bigger. At the age of twenty-one Nicole welcomed her first child. Sixteen months later she welcomed twins. Nicole struggled financially, but her children are her source of inspiration and support. She taught them that with every struggle comes a success. As her children grew older, she knew she had to show them. She set her sights on returning to school to become a nurse.

Nicole went to the Linn Creek Job Center looking for help. It was there she met Terry Sullivan, career counselor for the Healthcare Industry Training and Education (HITE) program funded through the Health Profession Opportunity Grant. They started the intake process together and Terry agreed Nicole would be a great fit for HITE.

Nicole began the licensed practical nurse (LPN) program at State Fair Community College (SFCC). HITE stepped up to cover Nicole's tuition. The Workforce innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provided additional support as she completed her program while working full time to support her family.

As she carried this heavy load, her children continued to be her motivation. They saw her struggles, tears and triumphs. Nicole made sure her children understood why she was doing what she was doing. Their family had a dream for each child to have a room of their own. Her children became her cheerleaders, praying and celebrating her accomplishments.

On December 10, 2018, Nicole held back her tears as she walked across the stage, with her children watching, and received her diploma. Nicole soon accepted a part-time position as an LPN with Lake Regional Health Systems earning $17.40/hour. She acknowledges that if it were not for her children, the HITE program and WIOA, her dream would not have become reality.

Nicole’s story does not stop there. She enrolled in the LPN to RN bridge program at SFCC and is on track to graduate in December 2019. She plans to take the NCLEX right after graduation. Once she is an RN, Nicole will move to a full-time position at Lake Regional Hospital.

This success story was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Last Reviewed: December 18, 2019