A GOOD START
“I always wanted to be a nurse, but I wasn’t ready for a four-year college,” says Lisa Buettner in explaining her decision to enroll in the Practical Nursing program at Hennepin Technical College. “It was convenient and affordable, so I wouldn’t have a lot of student debt.”
Buettner had actually become acquainted with what HTC had to offer when she attended the college as a PSEO student (post-secondary enrollment option) during high school. She graduated from HTC in December 2003, and then was hired as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) at the nursing home where she had worked as a student. After four years there, she moved to a Park Nicollet clinic, where she worked for five years. Gaining experience along the way, Buettner was ready to add to her skill set. With a goal of becoming a registered nurse, Buettner took online courses and graduated from Excelsior College in 2012.
“If I hadn’t been well prepared through the nursing program at HTC, I wouldn’t have made it through the online courses,” says Buettner, adding that with online courses it was all self-study, which may not work for everyone. For Buettner, it led to the next phase of her career.
Since 2013, Buettner has been working at Melrose Center in St. Louis Park, an inpatient facility for individuals with eating disorders. The best part of her job, she says, is seeing patients make progress. That connection to people is what makes nursing an exciting career choice.
“Being an LPN is a good place to start. It’s not quite as daunting as going for your RN,” says Buettner. “It’s a good stepping stone if you’re not sure about your career path.”
Buettner says that many of the registered nurses who work with her have student loans they now need to repay. That’s one reason Buettner is glad she began her medical training at HTC, which prepared her to begin as an LPN, able to gain hands-on experience and work full-time while she completed her RN training later.
A lifelong learner, Buettner is now researching RN to MSN programs and hopes to begin studies this fall to earn a master’s degree in nursing. By expanding her skills, she believes she can find more opportunities to help people.
“I had a really positive experience at HTC,” says Buettner. She’s glad it was the first step in preparing for a career in nursing. For her, HTC provided a good place to start.
Last updated by jhanson : 2015-02-21 15:36:35