HARRISBURG -- Southeastern Illinois College has highly reputed nursing programs, but a program is only as successful as its students. Happily, SIC Nursing has produced many students who have found success in their careers.
One such former student is Josh Richardson, a Galatia native and U.S. Army veteran, who completed the Licensed Practical Nursing program in 2009 and the ADN program in 2011.
Richardson went on to Chamberlain University in Chicago, where he got a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015 and a Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner in 2017.
Richardson said SIC was an important step toward his goals.
"Once I began classes at Chamberlain, I was amazed at how well-prepared I was for advanced level course work," he said. "I give all the credit to the fact that I completed one of the highest caliber ADN programs in the country."
Richardson graduated from Galatia High School and then joined the U.S. Army, where he served for nearly five years, mostly in Germany and then in Kosovo working with a NATO peacekeeping mission. From February 2004 to March 2005 he was deployed to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2.
Richardson left the Army with the rank of E-4 specialist, and a course to plot. He decided to return to school, choosing SIC due to its low costs and proximity to home.
Richardson is one of the many "nontraditional" students to enroll at SIC.
"I went through the entire evolution of being a student," Richardson said. "I started as a 24-year-old single man going to typical on-campus classes."
He got married while he was in the LPN program, and after that he worked full-time and went to school full-time.
"I worked 12-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday, and whatever my one day off during the week was, I spent it working at Carrier Mills Nursing Home," he recalled. "By the time I started my coursework at Chamberlain I was married with three children at home."
Despite the load of being a full-time student, full-time employee and husband, Richardson says SIC is where he made some of his fondest memories -- his fondest being the ADN pinning ceremony.
"That feeling of pride that I had, my fellow students had, and that the instructors had for us was something special I will always remember," he said.
Richardson said transferring from SIC to Chamberlain was seamless.
"It's the absolute commitment to excellence that the faculty possesses," Richardson said when asked what makes the SIC nursing program so successful.
"They truly care about the quality of nurses that SIC sends out into the world, and they care about the future patients for whom we will be caring."
Richardson's children are 11, 6 and 4, and it became routine for them to ask each night if he had homework to do.
"Being a student, husband, father, full-time nurse, volunteer baseball coach and Sunday school teacher kept my plate pretty full," he admits. "But now that I have finished school I can say it was all worth it."
Richardson is just one of the many success stories beginning at SIC. Any person with an interest in a nursing career is encouraged to look into SIC's program.
• For more information about nursing and allied health programs, as well as prerequisite courses, contact Amy Murphy, director of nursing, at (618) 252-5400, ext. 2330 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.sic.edu/nursing.