Viridiana Garcia knew she wanted to become a nurse as a young child.

When a group of nurses came to her elementary school, giving hygiene and disease prevention classes, the seed was planted. That seed took root when her grandfather, Tomas, suffered a cardiac infarction and collapsed lung.

“The nurses at that hospital not only took care of my poppa in a very skillful and professional manner,” she says, “but with love and compassion for him and my family.”

Unfortunately, her grandfather passed away, “but his last days were under the care of wonderful professional and compassionate nurses.” It was heartbreaking for her and her family, but it illuminated her path in life. “I knew that I wanted to become like one of those nurses and help people in similar situations,” says Garcia.

As with so many nurses, it is the opportunity to give loving care to her patients that drives her passion for nursing. “I believe that nurses can make a difference for their patients and their families by providing a good quality of care,” she says.

Her desire for giving the best care to her patients also drives her motivation to learn, grow, and advance in her career.

A Nurse’s Path

In 2016, Garcia started working as a private duty LVN, caring for ventilator-dependent patients. She soon realized she could extend her capabilities as a nurse and caregiver by earning her Associate Degree in Nursing. In 2019, Garcia got that degree, becoming a registered nurse. She now works as a perioperative nurse.

Online RN to BSN student

But that was just a step toward her ultimate goal of earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After she graduated with her Associate degree, Garcia enrolled in the online RN to BSN degree program at Houston Christian University. She hasn’t looked back.

Garcia notes how HCU’s reputation and faith-based values drew her to the program. “HCU is a respectable place where professionalism, faith, and good values are highly prioritized,” she says.

A Focus on Student Success

Enrolling in an RN to BSN program is a big step, but from her first interactions with HCU, Garcia felt some of the same qualities that drew her to nursing in the first place: caring and compassion. Throughout the enrollment process, HCU representatives were “extremely helpful and polite, and always willing to answer all my questions.”

Garcia’s experience exemplifies the generous spirit and supportive concern of the entire HCU staff. It is clear, Garcia says, that their mission is to “work together, guiding us towards success and achieving our goal of obtaining our BSN degree.”

One advisor, Julie, particularly stands out, explains Garcia. “Julie is very approachable,” she says. “She listens to my concerns and needs, provides a word of advice when I need it the most, keeps me on track with my courses and assignments. She makes me feel that I am not alone in this journey to achieve my online BSN.”

Online RN to BSN at HCU

The 100 percent online RN to BSN program is “structured, flexible, and well-organized,” says Garcia. The structured flexibility is perfect for students like her balancing school, family, and work.

Moreover, the quality of instruction and attentiveness of the instructors make learning a joy. “The instructors are very professional, knowledgeable in their subject area, and provide high-quality education,” says Garcia. “They are reachable and answer all my questions and concerns promptly.”

The Online Classroom

Garcia admits to being a little daunted at first by the technology required for studying online. HCU staff quickly laid those fears to rest.

“The program has terrific technical support,” she says. “The easy to follow tutorials, the support, and availability of the faculty and advisors make it easy to learn and adapt to the whole online experience. Furthermore, they use different teaching materials like interactive videos, PowerPoints, and e-books, to name a few, facilitating the learning process.”

Overcoming Challenges

Garcia is grateful for how her instructors and advisors helped her navigate the many challenges she’s faced while in the program. Academically, of course, HCU cares for their students like a nurse caring for their patients. But when her husband required surgery and spent weeks in the hospital due to complications, HCU helped her stay on track. They “listened to my problem, and were willing to work with me,” she says.

On another occasion, Garcia had to work extra hours, conflicting with her class schedule. She emailed her instructors about the situation, and they granted her more time to finish her assignments (“within reason,” she adds).

“At that time, I knew that all instructors are committed to work with me and drive me towards success. Feeling such support from my instructors has motivated me to work harder and achieve my dream.”

Her dream will soon be realized. Garcia graduates from the RN to BSN program with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in May 0f 2021.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

It’s easy to look back and think, ‘if I could do it over again, I would do this or not do that.’ Garcia is no different, but her reservations reflect her appreciation for the opportunities her experience with HCU provides her. “The program has helped me change my life and career,” says Garcia. “It gave me what I call the ‘I can do it’ sense. HCU is where you can learn and grow while sharing and strengthening your faith.”

Her advice to new students is to stay organized, study hard, and communicate with their instructors. “Communication is the key to success,” she says.

Viridiana Garcia was a young girl when she first felt the tug to enter the noble profession of nursing. Seeing other nurses care for her poppa inspired her to pursue a life and career caring for others in need.

“With determination, hard work, and God’s help, I can achieve my goals,” she says. The world is a better place because of it.