May 27, 2022

Determination and Support Guided Ayanna Juarez to Her Nursing Goals

By B&SC Blog Team

Determination and Support Guided Ayanna Juarez to Her Nursing Goals

Ayanna Juarez wasn’t sure she was going to make it to graduation. Not in the sense that she was running late for the ceremony. She felt she wasn’t going to graduate.

She had worked through her first two years at Bryant & Stratton College and needed to complete just one final class to earn her nursing degree. Medical Surgical Nursing 2 was the only thing that stood between her, a degree and starting her career as a nurse. Ayanna had to go back to take Medical Surgical Nursing 2 again in her final semester, a challenge that had her doubting that she was going to make it.

“It was a huge challenge for me to pass [Medical Surgical Nursing 2],” she said. “It was very depressing and I felt doubtful in myself. But I took that ‘failure’ and learned from it. I went into the next semester positive, focused and determined to kick medical surgical’s butt. The moment I did made it even more rewarding.”

Part of the determination she showed comes from a lifetime of dreaming of being a nurse. Ayanna says she’s wanted to be a nurse since she was a young girl after spending a lot of time with her aunt, who was a CNA. Her aunt even offered her the chance for some early, hands on learning.

“One time, she actually took me to the nursing home she worked at and allowed me to hand out snacks to her patients,” Ayanna said. “She was studying to become a nurse and I was always so fascinated in her A&P textbook and learning how the human body works. As I got older and did my research my interest grew more to where I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

The combination of a lifelong desire to become a nurse, the study habits she developed over her first two years and the guidance and support from her instructors gave Ayanna the foundation to succeed in those final few classes and move on to graduation.

“It took me some time to figure out my study method and how to apply it to where I can be successful,” she said. “I learned to lean on my classmates for help when I couldn’t do it all by myself. It is very important to form study groups and learn from one another.”

Early in her academic career, Ayanna said she would spend too much time trying to cram as much information as possible prior to an exam and not get the results she desired. Many of her instructors played a pivotal role in helping keep her on the path to success in the classroom. Among others, she gives credit to Elizabeth Santos and Rebecka Hartung for going above and beyond to help. She explained that Mrs. Santos always believed in her and giving her the tools to be successful. She even described a time that Santos called her via Facetime to make sure she fully understood the material they had reviewed in class. Mrs. Hartung would also go above and beyond to connect with students. Juarez added how grateful she was for the compassion and connection her teachers had throughout her time as a student.

Those lessons she learned in the classroom are coming in handy for her as she studies and prepares for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

In reflecting on her time at Bryant & Stratton, Ayanna offered up some helpful advice for nursing students. She stressed the importance of staying ahead on reading and to never be shy about asking questions. She also encourages students to be active in lectures and discussions because it goes so far in helping to understand the material.

Ayanna’s work ethic and positive attitude got her to graduation and now her sights are set on passing the NCLEX exam and landing a nursing position. But she’s already looking forward to furthering her education and reading a few books that don’t have to do with nursing.

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