Annette Alvarez always wanted to be a nurse. She enrolled in a nursing program more than 12 years ago, but was unable to complete it due to an accident. When she more recently decided to try again, she was disappointed to be put on a two year waitlist at a local school with an RN program.
"I felt like my whole life was on hold,” said Annette.
Annette knew she was meant to be a nurse, but life just kept pushing her down. She had heard about the Practical Nursing Program at Porter and Chester Institute from friends. They told her it was a great alternative that would allow her to start working as a nurse much faster than other programs.
So Annette took a chance and applied to the Practical Nursing program.
“I took a shot in the dark and applied to the Practical Nursing Program at Porter and Chester Institute. I passed my entrance exam and my interview and I started school two weeks later! I loved it because the program was hands-on starting on day one,” Annette said.
Two months into the program, the students started their clinicals, where they would go into area hospitals and nursing homes to shadow nurses on the job. Annette said it was a great opportunity to see what life would be like working in the healthcare field. She was also impressed with the school’s instructors, who were always going above and beyond to help out the students.
"The instructors were real people with real life experiences as professional nurses. Their stories always stuck with me. They made the complicated, scientific stuff really simple for me to understand. I was blessed to have great teachers. It made all the difference,” Annette said.
Annette graduated the Practical Nursing program just one year after she started. She passed her licensing exam on her first attempt and moved to Clearwater, Florida, where she started looking for a job.
It didn’t take long! She was hired as a weekend flex nurse at Mease Manor Assisted Living soon after she moved to Florida. Using the hands-on training she had learned at Porter and Chester Institute, Annette was able to work her way up from flex nurse, to full time nurse, to Unit Manager of one of the busiest floors in the building. Annette said she loves her new job and looks forward to going into work every single morning.
“I was lucky to get a nursing job with relatively no nursing experience. I know I got that job because of Porter and Chester Institute, because my skills were so on point,” Annette said.