Every nurse has a unique journey that led them to the profession. For William Jones, the road to nursing started with a desire to gain a deep, student-oriented understanding of the institution he’s had a hand in shaping.
As a successful entrepreneur and member of Joyce University’s Board of Trustees, William’s long history with Joyce began in 2005 at the inception of the institution’s first nursing program. For the last 15 years, William has served as one of the college’s most senior advisors and advocates.
“Part of my role as a member of the Board of Trustees is to help the institution make decisions that enhance the student learning outcome and best fulfill its mission. The Board of Trustees is composed of individuals with a variety of valuable perspectives, but as the institution was growing and building for the future, I really wanted to understand the perspective of the student first-hand.”
Armed with this purpose, William enrolled in the Associate of Science in Nursing program and began classes in May of 2018. As a person in his 50s, and from a non-science or healthcare background, William recalls feeling the nervousness leading to his first day.
“I was nervous I’d stick out like a sore thumb, or that I’d have a rough time with the study content or the amount of studying. After I did well on my first exam, things settled down. As for the students, at Orientation, most students were told of my other roles at the College. With time, familiarity, and the bonding that occurs during a shared experience, I fit in just fine.”
Like all nursing students, William had to balance the academic rigor of a Joyce nursing program with everyday life.
“The nursing program is very rigorous. I have stacks of binders in my closet from Anatomy and Physiology alone. Studying was a full-time commitment, but that didn’t stop my other responsibilities. I’d show up to business meetings in scrubs, I’d try to sneak time between lectures, labs, clinicals, emails, and meetings to spend with my wife and daughter. In most ways, they were enrolled in the program alongside me.”
As a student, William gained a perspective that most Board Members never get.
William delivered graduation kits for virtual May 2020 graduation to his fellow graduates
“There’s nothing like experiencing nursing school first-hand. You get to see what works well, what has opportunity for improvement and find ways to make student life richer, more meaningful, and manageable. The college has already used some of my suggestions to make improvements.”
After five semesters, William satisfied the requirements for completing the program. At this stage, William was able to experience one of the most stressful and significant moments as a nursing student – taking the NLCEX.
“Joyce’s nursing program is known for its high NCLEX pass rate. The program prepares you really well for the NCLEX, but in the back of my mind I thought, ‘This would look really bad if I failed this exam.’ I ended up getting a hotel for 2 weeks to avoid all distractions and had a regimented schedule for studying. It all paid off because I passed and I’m now waiting for my Registered Nurse license.”
In reflecting back on his journey to the nursing profession, William gained something he never expected.
“I’ve always had a deep admiration for nurses and healthcare professionals, but it was never on my list to become one myself. What I learned by going through the program is that I love being a nurse. I loved the friends I made through the program. I loved the fact that I’m prepared to help people in a meaningful way. I now plan on working as a nurse for a little while, ideally in an acute care setting. I loved working in the ER and Intensive Care units.”
Like all of our students and graduates, we are proud of William’s journey to nursing. From Military Officer, to Business School, to Entrepreneur, to Board Member, to Registered Nurse, William’s story illustrates that anyone can create their own path and chase what’s meaningful.
If you are interested in starting your own journey to nursing, please check out our nursing programs to learn more about the paths available to you.