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Student Profile: Juan Diaz, '16, RN-BSN

Morristown, N.J. (March 30, 2016) – Continuing Studies RN-BSN student Juan Diaz '16, is a dedicated registered nurse. Working in the sub-acute unit at Merry Heart Assisted Living Center in Succasunna, N.J., this former Marine offers his skills from his time in the military, his RN degree and now his RN to BSN classes at CSE.

After high school, he was unsettled and unsure of his life's direction. He joined the Marines because according to Diaz, "they have a reputation for the best training, the hardest challenge, and the coolest uniform." As a Marine, he worked in operations at headquarters in Iraq managing troop movements, and stateside managing the training for troops to go overseas. He had a fascination with flying and thought that would be his career direction after his discharge from the military.

He discovered nursing through chance, when his mother was being treated for breast cancer.

"She raved about the nurses," he said. "I learned that they are highly trained, highly disciplined, have the most contact with the patient and their families and have great responsibility."

These qualifiers intrigued him and he looked into nursing as a career. The federal GI Bill paid for his RN degree from County College of Morris. Juan likes to keep his options open, so in addition to nursing, he also took classes in aviation/flight technology. He did have to drop that interest in favor of the rigorous RN program, but would like to eventually return to school to finish up the courses and continue his flying lessons.

While at County College of Morris, Juan attended a career fair at which CSE had a table. It was there that he discovered that CSE had an accelerated RN to BSN program.

"I was sold in 10 minutes," he said. "The program had everything I wanted."

After he graduates from CSE in 2016, Juan plans to look into a CRNA program – a certified registered nurse anesthetist. These are the nurses working with anesthesiologists.

"I need a year of critical care experience to go into this field of study," he explains.

Once he is finished with the BSN, he will begin looking in that field.

Juan's attraction to the nursing field is based on his aptitude for critical thinking, problem solving, making quick decisions and being able to work in a high-stress situation. All these skills were learned in the Marine Corps and are appropriately applied to the nursing profession. On the other hand, Juan speaks to the need for compassionate care and helping patients and families through stressful times with patience and understanding.

"Nurses do it all," he says. "I was told that even under high stress situations, I need to treat all patients as if they were my own mom."

His advice to young men looking at CSE and/or the nursing program?

"Don't be intimidated! Come see the campus and the program and talk to people. Be yourself."

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