Home Nurse course El Dorado’s mother graduated from South Arkansas Community College and teaches her sons to never give up on their dreams

El Dorado’s mother graduated from South Arkansas Community College and teaches her sons to never give up on their dreams

0

EL DORADO, Arch. (KTVE/KARD) — Chelsea Phillips received two surprises at her graduation ceremony in May 2022. Phillips received the Florence Nightingale Award, which is the South Arkansas Community College Betty Owen School of Practical Nursing’s highest honor, and the second surprise was that her 12-year-old son told her he was proud of her.

“That was so sweet. I was in tears. I was like, ‘He looked!’ Because at that age you just don’t know,” Phillips said. Phillips worked hard to show his two young sons that they should never give up on their dreams.

Although she wanted to be a nurse since high school, she entered the workforce after graduating from high school, working as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens. Then she had to endure the death of her husband, who died of stage IV colon cancer.

That’s what really pushed me. It’s my time. I watched the nurses take care of him, and it really spoke to me because that’s what I want to do.

Chelsea Phillips

Although Phillips started her college career slowly by taking prerequisite courses and saving money for a few years, she was accepted into an evening nursing program in 2020. Phillips worked full-time and attended l school as a single mother, which forced her to fail her first semester classes.

After realizing she had to make sacrifices to become a nurse, Phillips worked and saved her money for about six months. Once she saved her money, she took unpaid leave to attend South Arkansas Community College’s one-year nursing program.

While in college, Phillips heard about the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, which helped her with school expenses and household bills. For the remainder of 2022, Phillips will be working and taking two courses so she can apply and enroll in a registered program, which begins in January 2023.

“A lot of people can be embarrassed or ashamed because they don’t think they should or can’t ask for help, but don’t be,” Phillips said.