Paige Wells Recently Graduated with her Associates Degree in Nursing and has landed a Registered Nursing job!
Please tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Phoenix and I’m 24 years old. I just completed my Associate Degree in Nursing program at Carrington College in December of 2021. I actually just sat for my board and got my nursing license on the 18th of March. I’ve been working at Abrazo West Hospital emergency department and I’ve been loving it so far. I’ve been working there as a Nursing Assistant and then starting on April 4th, I will be working as a Registered Nurse. So, I’m really looking forward to that.
When did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?
I always wanted to be in healthcare–I just didn’t know what route I’d take. When I was in 6th grade and my brother was a junior in high school, I would help him do his biology homework. I love science, life science specifically. I went to college right out of high school when I was eighteen and I thought that I might want to do global health or health in another country. Then a few years ago, I decided on nursing and went to Phoenix College to do prerequisites. From there, I decided to go to Carrington.
What motivated you to choose Carrington?
What motivated me was it was available for me right away. So, the convenience of Carrington was a factor. I also liked that the length of the program. I knew it would be a challenge, but I also knew I was ready for it. Once I decided that nursing was for me, I definitely put my head on that path.
What was your favorite part of your program at Carrington?
My favorite parts of the program were hands-on. During core nursing, we would perform check-offs on our skills. We did things like inserting catheters, performing full-body assessments, starting an IV, and drawing up medication into syringes. Once Covid hit after my first semester of school, not being able to go in for clinical really hurt, but once we were able to go back and do them, I really enjoyed it. We were finally able to go into the Emergency Department toward the end of my program. I didn’t even think I wanted to be in that department until doing it and then I found this passion for it. That’s why I’m doing it now. I have found that I work better under pressure. I think I want to take the path to eventually becoming a trauma nurse. I’m really excited about my career.
What was the most challenging part of your program?
Going online due to Covid was difficult. I missed being in person with my classmates and professors and having that eye-to-eye learning experience. I studied more on my own instead of with a group but we did have study sessions on Zoom. The pandemic definitely took away that in-person part that I looked most forward to.
What got you through those challenging times?
I think what got me through was my drive and passion. I knew this was what I wanted to do–this was it. This was the path that I wanted. It was the path that was right for me. There was nothing I could do about Covid. I just needed to keep my head straight and get through the program knowing that it would pay off and it has for sure.
Is there a Carrington instructor or staff member who you would like to acknowledge?
Yes, Emily–my clinical instructor during my last semester. I had a small clinical group of only three of us, which made it really nice because we got to interact with Emily a lot. She made sure to put us in situations where she knew we would flourish and she knew we would be interested. She made sure we got that clinical experience that we needed.
You had an exciting experience during a clinical rotation. Would you mind telling us about it?
We were at Banner Boswell Hospital and I was in the emergency department toward the end of our day when we got a call that there was an incoming code blue. The person needed to be resuscitated–they needed CPR. That was my first time doing it. I remember my nurse asking me, “Are you ready to do compressions?” My heart was racing but then I thought, “This is what I am here to do.” Everybody got the room ready for the patient to arrive. There was one other student from Carrington there with me and she had already been an EMT or paramedic so she had dealt with these types of experiences before. This was my first time, so she was giving me some words of encouragement. I was a little nervous but ready for sure.
I started compressions as soon as the EMTs brought the patient in and transitioned them from the stretcher to the hospital bed. I remember thinking, “This is real life, this is not a mannequin.” I think I did compressions for maybe four minutes. I remember feeling so exhausted, so winded. I didn’t think you’d get so exhausted from doing CPR on a real body. It is easier doing it on a mannequin. When we finally got the patient back, it felt so rewarding. I was so proud. That is a feeling that I remember. My instructor Emily told me right after that if I needed a few minutes to myself to sit in a room or step aside and process everything, I was welcome to. I told her, “I’m ok–I feel really good!” It was like an adrenaline rush in a great way. I went home an hour or two later and told my family and my boyfriend what happened–how I helped save someone’s life–and I was just beyond happy. That experience made me know that I want to be an emergency department nurse.
What do you enjoy most about your current work?
I would have to say my coworkers, the fellow nurses. They have been nothing but encouraging. As they have seen me respond to traumas, they have told me that I am made for this job. That has made me feel really good like I am in the right place. I have a team that supports me and whatever direction I take in my career they back me one hundred percent.
How did Carrington prepare you for your career?
The best way that they could, considering the pandemic. I really appreciate that. The professors were great. If you asked them for help, they would meet you on Zoom or Microsoft Teams and discuss your test with you or discuss things that you may be struggling with, so that definitely helped a lot.
Do you have any advice for people interested in going into nursing?
The journey can be difficult. There may be minor setbacks, but they are getting you ready for a major comeback. Always remember when times get tough why you chose this profession because it will pay off in the end.