NFC Connections Spring 2021 - Page 21

Patricia Walton - RN Student
NFC nursing student Patricia Walton pictured outside Jasper ’ s Suwannee Valley Nursing Center where she has worked as a CNA for eight years .
NFC ’ s Associate in Science in Registered Nursing program , plans to continue into NFC ’ s Bachelor of Science in Nursing bridge program . “ My mother taught me to always improve myself , never stop learning .”
Kara says the most challenging part of working at a doctor ’ s office during the pandemic is providing care to patients while keeping her family safe . “ COVID-19 has killed many people in the last year and it has been a big part of the stress I am under ; if I bring home the virus to my family , one of them could die . While it is scary , Premier Medical Clinic and NFC have both provided me with the necessary equipment and precautions to keep the risk as low as humanly possible , making it feasible to continue to work and attend school .”
Kara says she loves “ making a positive impact on someone ’ s life by providing care .” Despite the risks of the pandemic , Padgett is working hard to make a difference for her family and her patients . “ Managing my time is hard but my family is so supportive , and I am blessed because they understand how important this is to me , they want me to succeed as much as I do .”

Patricia Walton - RN Student

NFC student Patricia Walton lives in Jasper and for the past eight years has worked at Suwannee Valley Nursing Center as a CNA providing rehabilitation , care and support to patients . “ Though I love what I do , becoming a registered nurse opens so many doors .” After
completing NFC ’ s registered nursing program , Patricia plans to earn a BSN , Master of Science in Nursing , and ARNP credentials . “ My ultimate dream is to become a travel nurse , not only working for hospitals and other healthcare facilities in the United States but hopefully being able to see and experience other cultures around the world and how they practice medicine abroad .”
But reaching for her dreams is not without sacrifice . “ I dropped from full-time to part-time employment once I got accepted into the RN program . It ’ s been incredibly difficult trying to navigate academic responsibilities and financial and personal responsibilities . Luckily , I have a great support system that encourages me to keep going .”
Walton credits CareerSource North Florida for helping her afford classes and says NFC has provided valuable resources to help her be successful , despite all the stress of the past year . She specifically credits Elizabeth Gonzales and Ruth Harvey in the NFC Academic Success Center for providing tutoring services and sharing effective ways to “ handle and organize hours between school , work and studying .”
Patricia was completing her first year of NFC ’ s RN program when the pandemic hit . “ There were many times I didn ’ t think I was going to make it .” Besides the normal college stress , Walton faced heightened health risks at work while learning to navigate through the new COVID-19 guidelines . “ We had to put mandatory protocols in place to protect our residents , but many of them didn ’ t understand . It broke my heart at the
SPRING 2021 | CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE 19