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Registered nurse began her college studies at HTC

Hennepin Tech Graduate Nurse Houa Pha

Brooklyn Park, Feb. 11, 2022 – Houa Pha’s father had always dreamed that one of his seven daughters would become a nurse. He worked as a nurse in his native country of Thailand until the family immigrated to the U.S. in 1992. Unable to work in his chosen profession in the U.S., he hoped that someone in the family would carry on his love of nursing.

So when Pha graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, she planned to pursue nursing at the University of Minnesota. But the university’s size was overwhelming, and she decided to look elsewhere.

“I looked into Hennepin Technical College and it seemed like it was a good fit for me at that time,” Pha said.

She appreciated the ease with which she could navigate the campus and quickly settled into the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program and bonded with her classmates as they worked through the program together. Pha was happy with the welcoming and diverse student body and environment.

“I felt like the people at the college always treated everybody the same. There were other Asian students in the nursing program at that time and three of them were Hmong too. It was pretty diverse, and there were people I could connect with,” she said.

Pha began the LPN program a few months after giving birth to her daughter. She also worked part-time while attending college then graduated in 2011. The need to stay focused on school while paying bills and raising a child was daunting, but she persevered, and urges others in a similar position to keep going as well.

“Don’t give up,” she said. “There are going to be struggles, but use all the resources you have. Ask for help. You can go full-time, you can go part-time and take one class at a time, but don’t give up because you’ll get there, and it’s going to be a great feeling when you do.”

She continued her education after graduating from Hennepin Technical College (HTC) by earning her Registered Nurse (RN) and Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bemidji State University, and today’s she’s fully immersed in her career as a nurse at North Memorial Hospital.

“HTC’s LPN program is good. It got me to where I am today,” she said. “They had all the resources that I needed while I was there.” She points to HTC’s caring, knowledgeable and supportive faculty as playing a big role in that.

Someday she’d like to pursue a Master’s, but for now, she’s happy with her current position and being able to spend time hiking with her four children. She’s already accomplished the primary goal of fulfilling her father’s dream of having another nurse in the family.

Last updated by mdibba : 2022-04-28 11:16:54