College wasn’t a consideration for Georgian Green when she was growing up in Spanish Town, Jamaica. But that all changed when she moved to Philadelphia with her family seven years ago to pursue greater opportunities.
“That desire came when I came to the United States,” Green said. “I never thought about college in Jamaica. You don’t really need a college education for the entry level jobs that were there.”
After a period of adjustment, Green made herself right at home in the “City of Brotherly Love.” She graduated from the La Salle University RN to BSN online program in May 2016. Four months after graduation, she married her boyfriend, Junior Green, who still lives in Jamaica. She is the first person in her family to earn a college degree.
“In order to work in acute care in a hospital in Philadelphia, you have to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree,” Green said. “I was already working at the University of Pennsylvania Presbyterian Medical Center as a nursing assistant. To work as a nurse, however, I had to get a bachelor’s degree. Initially, that was the biggest reason.”
The move paid off for Green in the form of an RN position in the general medicine surgical unit with Hospital at Penn. She works with cardiac patients and has been employed by Penn Medicine for almost four years.
For someone whose life plans didn’t initially include higher education, Green performed exceptionally well.
After careful consideration, she decided nursing was an ideal career choice.
“I am a compassionate person, and I love to help,” she said. “I didn’t know how at first to develop that side of me. Nursing was the best option. It’s my nature to help people get better.”
After she earned an Associate of Nursing from Community College of Philadelphia in 2014, Green graduated with flying colors from La Salle.
“I was able to manage it,” she said. “I have to brag a bit — I was the Academic Award winner for the program that year. I graduated with a 4.0. It was very difficult, but I can’t take all of the credit myself. It was having a great support system. My family and friends and my job were all very understanding that I had school. They helped out to make it much better.”
It wasn’t just emotional support, either.
“My parents were excited,” she said. “Any way I could incorporate them, I would. If I had a paper, I would read it to them and ask them, ‘What do you think about this?'”
Green said the accelerated format of the online degree program meant she had to devote between 20 and 35 hours a week to schoolwork, depending on the courses. She said the flexibility of the program was key to her success.
“During that time, I lost a grandparent and had to travel out of the country,” she said. “The teachers understood and gave me time to recover. It was a shared experience.”
Green says her teachers chipped in by being flexible. She also credits a higher power for her success.
“My greatest inspiration came from God,” Green said. “In addition to the support of my family and friends, He is the driving force that kept me going. Without Him, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all of this.”
Plenty to Explore
Green settled on La Salle because of its partnership with Community College of Philadelphia.
“I liked the school because it’s a Catholic school,” she said. “I went to Catholic school in Jamaica, so I understand where they’re coming from.”
The choice ended up being ideal for Green. The RN to BSN online curriculum was also helpful as she learned the ins and outs of her new nursing career.
“I liked the evidence-based courses,” she said. “I liked those because in nursing everything is evidence-driven, so it’s good to know how to go about things. I still use everything I learned today. I’m thinking about going back for my master’s, probably later on this year or early next year.”
Green said she believes her degree helped her progress with her career. She also has an ultimate career goal in mind.
“I’m going to dream a little bit,” she said. “I’d like to have my own clinic.”
Green’s husband plans to move to Philly from Jamaica and also enroll in college soon. She said she would recommend the La Salle RN to BSN online degree program to anybody.
“It’s a lot of work and dedication,” Green said. “I’m very strict about education, so I would say just go in with your A-game. Always aim for the moon. In case you don’t reach, you don’t worry because you’ll always be remembered among the stars. When you aim for an A+ and not a C, if you get a B, you’re still achieving a higher mark.”
Learn more about the La Salle online RN to BSN program.
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