Bridge to the Future: Justine Glenn, Student in the Nursing Bridge Program, Takes it One Goal at a Time

Living on a farm outside the small town of Nyssa, Oregon, about 45 miles from Boise, Idaho, Justine grew up giving the farm animals injections and basically being their vet. You would think this is a story about Justine entering Carrington to become a Vet Technician. But her genuine passion for caring about people was the stronger drive inside. And she is known to take life one goal at a time. She was married at 18 years old and eventually mothered four children. When her youngest child started kindergarten, Justine divorced. A stay-at-home mom her whole adult life, now Justine had to decide whether to go to work in an entry-level position or get a degree. When it came to a degree, the nearest school was 45 miles away in Boise. She chose to drive that distance every day to pursue a certificate and a career in nursing to build a better life. She chose the Practical Nursing program at Carrington and began commuting in January 2019.    Within the first year of working as an LPN, Justine bought her first house. She continued to work her way up the ladder for three years at Meadow View Nursing and Rehabilitation in Nampa, Idaho. She eventually returned to Carrington for the Nursing Bridge program, completing her studies to become an RN in two years instead of four. What’s next for Justine?  She has another goal now. And continues to be an inspiration to her children. This is her story. 

When you decided to pursue a certificate and then a degree at a college in Boise, why did you choose Carrington? 

It was the only one that offered a faster track to become an LPN and then an RN in less than 4 years. I had just gotten divorced.  I needed to get a good career in place as soon as I could.    

What was the Carrington classroom experience like for you? 

I had taken some college classes in an Oregon community college in the past. But this was a LOT more studying, more than I expected. It was like drinking water from a fire hose! A lot of classes, information to absorb, and having to get it done in a short amount of time. You really have to decide you want it.    

Tell me about the three years between getting your LPN License and studying for your RN. 

After I got my LPN license in 2019, I went to work at Meadow View Nursing and Rehabilitation in Nampa, Idaho, which is halfway between Nyssa and Boise. I started as a floor staff nurse, then moved into management. Then I became the wound nurse, which means I worked with the wound doctor in the rehabilitation facility. From there I was promoted to Assistant Director of Nursing where I am currently, second from the top management position. I have 20 to 25 employees under me and I’ve hired four classmates as well. Some of the employees I oversee have higher degrees than I have!  

I understand you are known for a real talent in time management and that you give your peers support and guidance. Can you talk about that? 

I think, because I took a three-year break between my programs to establish myself as a professional, I think they sensed I had some confidence. Working in between school programs gave me time to understand the field I had chosen. I communicate well and I’m happy to guide my peers. I have the passion to be successful, and I’m willing to show it to others. And I may be a little more inclined than most to ask questions, create relationships with teachers, and get what I need. I had to fight for what I have.   

I was also told you have a “quiet leadership quality.” What do you think that means? 

I don’t step on people’s toes. I care enough to be respectful – even though I may not agree with the way someone is going about something. I’m the one listening the most; I’m not the one standing in class and talking. I try to keep it comfortable; at some point, I’ll step them aside and redirect and privately communicate where I think I need to. It’s like sewing the seams together, bringing everyone along. Everyone has to learn to row.    

How do your kids feel about their working mom? 

They love it. They love my job and who I am. They come to work with me and help. I’m so proud of my eldest daughter; she just received a scholarship to go to a California State University to study to be a Nurse Practitioner.  

Congratulations! Any more goals for you?  

I make one goal at a time. Right now, I intend to grow in my company and continue in school toward a degree as a Nurse Practitioner. It’s a direct path from being a nurse, and for us in the nursing field that is important; we pride ourselves in being nurses and having those core skills as a nurse to use throughout our career wherever our goals take us.  

Is there anything in particular you would like to say to a prospective student, to give them advice from your own experience? 

Yes. Something I wish I had known sooner is you don’t have to wait. When I finally decided to commit to Carrington, they got me started within three months. Anyone who is feeling they want to further their education, just do it! Show up and be ready. There’s always a way. Carrington is so great, they welcome you with open arms and you’re right in. I think if I had gone somewhere else, I might not have felt that way.  

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