Courtney Gregory decided she wanted to study nursing after spending two years as the primary caregiver for her father as he fought cancer. She already had an educational background in health care after graduating from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in community health education in 2004. But her experience in taking care of her father reignited her passion for health care and taking care of others. So, she enrolled at AACC to begin a new career path after several years as a stay-at-home mom.
Coming from a school as large as the University of Tennessee, she found the smaller class sizes helpful in transitioning back into the classroom. Gregory credits the nursing faculty with being supportive and encouraging along the way.
“Being at AACC, the value in having more access and interaction with the professors, I think, is a game changer and it's been super beneficial for me,” she said.
Going back to school while taking care of a family comes with challenges. But as Gregory adjusted to being back in school, her confidence grew.
“I'll be honest, I came into this thinking, ‘Gosh, am I too old to go back to school? Is it going to be hard to blend back into maybe even a younger population than myself? What am I not going to know?’ So, it's definitely pushed me. It has given me confidence that I can do something that's hard. Nursing school is not easy.”
And now she can serve as an example to her own children when it comes to setting goals in life.
“It's shown my kids that they can do whatever they want to do. They don't have to decide as a high schooler what they want to do for the rest of their life. They can change, they can adjust and be brave to explore.”