AHEC Success Stories
"The support I received from AHEC allowed me to focus on my dream of one day becoming a nurse rather than worrying about how I would pay for college."
"I attended Eaton High School and the summer between my junior and senior years, I participated with the Summer Health Career Institute. Through this experience, I met Anna Vickery. A few months after the summer program, Anna contacted me and said she mentioned my name to her supervisor, Sally Henry, for a nomination for the Daniels Fund Scholarship. The Daniels Fund Scholarship is a four-year award that supplements any remaining tuition and board costs. It is offered in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming and about 250 total scholars are chosen each year.
At the time, in order to be considered for the Daniels Fund, a referral was required from a specified agency. I met and interviewed with Ms. Henry and was informed that she would be happy to refer me for the prestigious scholarship. After completing a very thorough application and being interviewed by a panel of judges, I found out I was awarded a Daniels Fund Scholarship.
I graduated from Eaton in 2010, and I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Sports Health and Wellness Promotion at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. I will graduate this May and upon passing my boards to become a Registered Nurse, I look forward to working in orthopedics and eventually the emergency department.
I am incredibly lucky to have received the support I did from AHEC. The Summer Health Career Institute was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I still remember feeling a human spinal column and watching a paramedic simulation. Most importantly, the support I received from AHEC allowed me to focus on my dream of one day becoming a nurse rather than worrying about how I would pay for college."
"My public health clinical experience at Central Colorado AHEC was unlike any other clinical experience I had during nursing school."
"I was introduced to Central Colorado AHEC during the final semester of my BSN degree at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus College of Nursing. I was assigned to complete my Public Health clinical at Central Colorado AHEC. After meeting my clinical preceptor, Gloria Nussbaum, and the rest of the staff at Central Colorado AHEC, I knew that I had been assigned a great clinical experience! My public health clinical experience at Central Colorado AHEC was unlike any other clinical experience I had during nursing school. I truly felt that I was involved in the work that Central Colorado AHEC does, and my input was sought and valued. My favorite part of my clinical at Central Colorado AHEC was that I was actually put to work – I did not simply “shadow” my clinical preceptor.
Within the first week of my clinical, Central Colorado AHEC started work on submitting a grant proposal to act as the coordinator for an ARRA funded grant that was to expand and integrate the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) across the state of Colorado. The CDSMP program is an evidence-based program developed by the Stanford School of Medicine. I assisted in writing the grant proposal, talking to funders, and coordinating with potential grant partners. It was an excellent experience in grant writing and forming partnerships – two integral components of public health. Central Colorado AHEC was awarded the ARRA grant in May of 2010, shortly after I graduated with my BSN degree. I am pleased to share that my first job after nursing school was to administer the ARRA grant through Central Colorado AHEC.
Working with Central Colorado AHEC fostered a deep love for public health and community health nursing. While working at Central Colorado AHEC, I also worked a few shifts a week as an ER and MedSurg nurse in a Critical Care Access Hospital in Eastern Colorado. I strongly believe that all nurses should have well developed clinical and assessment skills, however, I quickly realized that my passion was not hospital-based nursing. I belong out in the community, not at the hospital bed. My public health experiences at Central Colorado AHEC helped me to become hired as a Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) home visitor nurse. NFP gives me the opportunity to truly use all of my nursing skills, from assessment to case management to care collaboration.
Looking back, it is clear that Central Colorado AHEC has been integral to my experiences as a nurse and has directly impacted the direction of my nursing career. If I had not had a public health clinical rotation at Central Colorado AHEC, the discovery of my passion for public health nursing may have taken much longer to realize."