For Nicole Rodriguez, a student enrolled in Sam Houston State University’s School of Nursing, the immersion into the college’s culture helped enforce her belief that she had come to the right place.
Rodriguez, a Montgomery High School graduate, originally studied at Lonestar College, earning her Associate of Science Degree in 2010 and discovering her professional calling, but when she set her sights on nursing, SHSU was at the top of her list.
“I reviewed nursing programs throughout the area, and I received a lot of encouragement from SHSU right from the beginning,” she says. “I saw that it was a newer program, and I felt the students could help leave their mark and make an impression in the program’s development. It was a shock to get accepted into the program so quickly, and needless to say, I was very excited.”
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program was approved by the Texas State University Board of Regents of Sam Houston State University in November, 2008.
Rodriguez, now a senior in the nursing program, is able to look back on the program in her final year and appreciate the professional relationships she has been able to develop.
“My experience with Sam Houston State University has been unlike any other for numerous reasons,” she says. “The faculty and staff throughout the university and especially the College of Health Sciences are all amazing. Teaching is such a big part of nursing, and they’re all really great mentors with backgrounds in many nursing fields.”
Rodriguez says a consistent relationship she maintained with Professor and Chair Anne Stiles, PhD, RN, who maintains an open-door policy, was particularly helpful through her coursework.
Rodriguez, a proud mother of four children, Bailey, 11, Sherri, 8, Caleb, 4, and Brynlee, 3, will seek a career in women's health upon graduating in May, 2014, but she says when she crosses the stage to receive her diploma, it will be with the assistance of a variety of family and friends, including her husband, Rene, who served as her support system along the way.
“My time at Sam Houston State University has been unlike any other experience in my life,” she says. “It has been an empowering and uplifting experience for me; I have seen and felt the change in me as I've been going through the program. It’s happening here for me, and it’s really great.”