Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Lahtika Minns will graduate this May from Maria College’s Nursing AAS (RN) Program. Like many Maria students, nursing wasn’t her first career plan, but after a few redirects, she found she couldn’t resist the field she was destined for.
Lahtika said she wanted to be a teacher at first and attended another college to take courses in what she refers to as a “rebellious” career choice, as she comes from a family of nurses. After learning of the difficulties in securing a job in education, she decided to take a break, but eventually found herself taking courses to be a CNA. Although she says this step in her career was for the sole purpose of getting a job, she found that she actually enjoyed what she was learning, despite her best efforts to resist it.
“I was learning so much about the human body and I just found it so interesting, even though I was trying to hide it,” she said playfully. “It was clear though; I was falling in love with nursing.”
Now, she was hooked. She continued her journey in healthcare by taking courses at a local community college to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) while she scouted out RN programs in the area.
With consistently high National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX) scores, Lahtika said it was clear that Maria prepares and supports students very well.
“Maria offers a rigorous program, but they know the type of nurses they produce. If you can make it through the courses, you know you will be successful in passing the NCLEX.”
In addition to Maria’s reputation for excellence, Lahtika discovered the opportunity programs and financial assistance offered through the College. She applied successfully to the Renaissance Scholars Program, which provides academic and personal assistance to healthcare and nursing students sponsored through the Renaissance Corporation of Albany.
“The Renaissance Scholars Program has been so helpful and I know I can contact them about anything. One time my car was broken into and my book bag containing my laptop with all my schoolwork was stolen. I was very upset about it, but through this program, they replaced my laptop. When I had personal financial issues, Maria helped me access the Maria Cares Emergency Fund to get me through that time.”
While she described her educational journey as “eventful,” she said it has been worth it to help people.
“My favorite thing about nursing is that you can do something for someone that they cannot do themselves. It is humbling to see people struggling when there is nothing they can do about their diagnosis, but you can make them feel comfortable or just sit and talk to them. It’s very fulfilling.”