During April Community College month, I wanted to thank and commend Eastern Iowa Community Colleges for being the foundation for many students. I was one of those students who was given the opportunity to have a place to start my journey to becoming the nurse.
I began my education with night classes at Clinton Community College in Clinton, Iowa. Many mentors along the way, from the librarians who assisted me countless times with finding books and getting logged into the computer to Mardell Mommsen, who played a pivotal role in my educational success by assisting with registration, advising, guiding, and encouraging me all along the way.
Math was never my strong point; however, I was blessed with my Clinton Community College math instructor, Marilyn Lyons, whose mentoring afforded me many “a-ha” moments and changed my life. John Bonte, my chemistry professor at Clinton Community College, also had a profound effect on me with his amazing teaching strategies that not only made learning chemistry fun, but provided skills that helped me in future classes.
I was then was accepted into the night and weekend nursing program at Scott Community College in Bettendorf, Iowa. Mary Baily, the Scott Community College nursing program coordinator, was an incredible influence for me in classes and clinicals.
Since graduating from Scott Community College and becoming a registered nurse, I have had the opportunity to work in several areas in nursing, such as oncology, neurology, cardiology, and orthopedic surgery. I continued on to obtain my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mount Mercy University and master’s degree in nursing education from Walden University. I am 55 years old and proof that it is never too late to achieve your dreams. Community colleges provide the foundation from which dreams can be built.
Marcia A. Heeren, MSN, RN