It was always Mindy Vap s childhood dream to be a nurse. But it took dropping out of college and support from instructors when she returned to realize it was in her heart and soul.
It was the compassion and personalities of the instructors that drew me to them and want to be like them, said Vap, who graduated from Bluegrass Community and Technical College s nursing program in May 2010. You have to know if you really want to be a nurse; if being a nurse isn t in your heart and soul, then it s not right for you.
Vap started attending BCTC in 2001. But in 2004, she dropped out when she had one semester left in the nursing program. She became overwhelmed with going to school and working full-time while being a single mom.
I told myself I didn t want to be a nurse, probably because I didn t want to feel like a failure, she said.
However, she continued to remain in contact with friends who became nurses. When Vap visited them at the hospitals, she felt like she was home.
It reminded me what I love most about nursing, which is my patients, Vap said. I finally came to the realization that I did really want to be a nurse.
In 2007, Vap reenrolled in the BCTC s nursing program. After graduation, she became a nurse in the surgical telemetry unit at Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington.
She felt BCTC prepared her for the demands of her nursing career through its hands-on training curriculum: starting in the first semester, students immediately apply their knowledge in clinical internships at area hospitals and health care facilities. In the classroom, students use cutting-edge lab equipment to practice scenarios that prepare them for clinicals and for the real world.
In nursing, you learn by doing, and that s the way this program is set up, Vap said. You can answer all the questions in the world about it, but unless you are in that situation where your patient is crashing, are you really going to know what to do.
But, it was her instructors who helped her gain the confidence she needed.
I chose to come back to BCTC mainly because I really did love the instructors, Vap said. The nursing process is the same wherever you go, but what makes the difference is the instructors. ... they are knowledgeable and very compassionate.
Vap s advice to students is to not give up. It s a hard program, and hard to get into, and its an accelerated program, but if you can absorb all that knowledge and apply it, it just makes you that much better of a nurse.