Okanagan College helps local nurse prepare for dream job

Planning to upgrade your career? Okanagan College's Adult Academic and Career Preparation is currently accepting students into the upgrading program for the January semester.

A sphygmomanometer. Photo: Creative Commons license by jasleen_kaur. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasleen_kaur/

Marisa Sessa is just one exam away from achieving her goal of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in her hometown of Revelstoke. The 21-year-old credits the supportive and flexible learning environment provided by Okanagan College as one of the main reasons why she has been so successful in the pursuit of her dream career.

Sessa grew up in Revelstoke and after graduating from high school, entered the job market. Working two jobs proved to be hectic and unfulfilling. With a career in health care in mind, Sessa applied for the Practical Nursing program at the College’s Vernon campus.

Maria Sessa. Photo: Okanagan College
Maria Sessa. Photo: Okanagan College

“I knew I wanted to take the nursing program at the College but the first time I applied, I wasn’t accepted,” she said. “It’s a competitive program and I knew that I could improve on some of my high school grades so I decided to upgrade some courses at the College.”

Sessa enrolled in the Adult Academic and Career Preparation program at the Revelstoke Centre and set out to increase her previous grades in Math and English. The College’s small classes and dedicated instructors gave her the support she needed to excel.

“I was still working while I went back to school and it was so great because the upgrading programs are flexible,” she said. “I could set my own schedule and drop in to the Centre before and after work to get all the help I needed.

“I increased my grades in Math and English by 10-15 per cent and that proved to be enough to be accepted into the LPN program in Vernon. I’m now finished the program and just have my licensing exam to write in January, and then I’ll be prepared for a great career in nursing right in Revelstoke.”

Sessa was able to take the upgrading courses for free. Okanagan College doesn’t currently charge tuition for anyone taking the Adult Basic Education program. One-on-one support from staff at the Revelstoke Centre helps students through the process and provides guidance throughout the upgrading experience.

“Going to Okanagan College was really awesome,” said Sessa. “The upgrading helped me prepare for the nursing program and everyone was so helpful along the way. The instructors were really supportive and were always there when I needed them.”

Okanagan College is currently accepting students into the upgrading program for the January semester. Contact staff at the Revelstoke Centre for more information.