Hasty says Dual Enrollment at OFTC Jumpstarted her Nursing Career
Ever since she was a little girl, Sierra Hasty has recognized the sincerity of a nurse and often thought about what a career in nursing might look like.
“I have always been interested in the medical field,” Hasty shared. “It is a very intriguing and a very special career. And it’s heartwarming to know that as a nurse you can help care for people on a daily basis.”
During her senior year at Washington County High School in Sandersville, Hasty received her first true taste of the nursing profession when she signed up to take Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) classes through Oconee Fall Line Technical College’s (OFTC) dual enrollment program.
While taking dual enrollment classes, Hasty garnered both high school and college credit for free and was able to graduate not only with her high school diploma, but with certification as a CNA.
“After realizing what dual enrollment was, I realized it was something I really wanted to do so I could get a jumpstart on some of the college classes I would soon have to begin taking,” Hasty said.
It’s been two years since Hasty first started at OFTC with dual enrollment, and now she’s three semesters away from graduating from the college’s practical nursing program as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
“Looking back, taking the dual enrollment classes really made me realize what I wanted to do when I got older, and that was to become a registered nurse,” Hasty shared.
Making Dreams Reality
After graduating high school and completing OFTC’s CNA program, Hasty considered where to go for college and decided to continue at OFTC. “I decided to continue on at OFTC because it is extremely close to home, the staff is amazing, and because I don’t feel like I am just another face in the crowd,” she said.
OFTC’s Practical Nursing program attracted Hasty because she heard how great the instructors were. “The staff truly wants us all to succeed in whichever field we go into and my overall experience at OFTC has been great,” she added.
Only a few weeks into the hands-on Practical Nursing Program, Hasty can already see how OFTC’s program is preparing her for the future. “The students are very involved, even in the lectures,” she said. “They’re not just read off a slide, it’s more like a conversation between the instructors and students.”
Hasty has already seen the hands-on aspect of OFTC’s program fleshed out in her tests. “I truly believe this program is going to prepare me for a future career because of the way the tests are worded – they are scenario-based questions which will help me begin to think like a nurse,” she said. “And when we start clinicals,” she added, “we will be getting true hands-on experience.”
Hasty’s instructors have also seen the practical application of nursing take root in Hasty. “As a high school student in the dual enrollment program, I observed Sierra interacting well with others and taking initiative to achieve her goals,” shared Suann McNutt, Practical Nursing instructor at OFTC. “She was dedicated and worked hard and that has not changed.”
“Since being accepted into the practical nursing program, I have really gotten a chance to observe her performance,” McNutt continued. “She arrives early, is always prepared for class, asks questions when needed, and continues to maintain a compassion for learning. She is truly a joy to have in class and I know she will make a great nurse.”
After she completes the LPN program, Hasty plans to work as an LPN for a year and then compete for OFTC’s Associate Degree in Nursing Bridge Program to become a Licensed Registered Nurse.