Nursing student profile

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Kimberlyn Smith

Janet Harlan | The Broadside

Kimberlyn Smith has been a nursing student and a parent since 2009.
She will be graduating as a Registered Nurse this summer.

Natalie Carter
The Broadside

Kimberlyn Smith’s accomplishments in the last few years have given her the confidence and the desire to go further and obtain her
bachelor’s degree.

In June of 2010, 157 applications were submitted to the Central Oregon Community College Nursing program. Of those 157, only 45
were accepted according to Assistant Director of Admissions and Records Seana Barry.

Smith was one of those 45.

Not only was she accepted into one of COCC’s most rigorous programs, but she was also a single mother to a then two and three year old.

“I decided to become a nurse in the Spring of 2009. The economy had tanked, I was in the middle of a separation, and I had a two and three year old. I was looking for financial stability, a way to support my family,” said Smith sitting in her green jacket and purple scrubs.

She took nine credits her first term.

“It took me about five terms to do all the pre-requisites. I had to re-do math classes, and I even had 16 credits one term.” Although despite the odds, after her first year she had held a 4.0 GPA. Then in the Summer of 2010 after completing the required courses,
the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS-V), and writing the required essay questions she received a letter informing her that she had been accepted.

However, the journey for Smith had just begun. The tension from the application process was gone, and all who were accepted became a family unit.

“My first year in nursing school, I averaged three to five hours of sleep a night. My first two terms I worked night shift clinicals from 2 -11 p.m. My family and instructors was very supportive during this time.” Her mom and sister are her guiding forces.

“While working, either my Mom or sister would come over to feed, bathe and tuck in my kids.” Her professors encouraged her to balance home and school through wellness goals and stress management.

Now as a second year nursing student she is feeling more confident and at ease.

“My day begins by going to class lectures, then going to the hospital to work the day shift, and then by the time I get done with that I
pick up the kids from school, feed, bathe and help with my daughter’s homework.”

This coming summer Smith and the rest of her class will graduate as Registered Nurses.

“I love it. It’s been a rewarding experience,” she said.

You can contact Natalie Carter at ncarter@cocc.edu

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