PN instructor takes nontraditional career path

Nursing instructor travels nontraditional career path to graduate with honors
Posted on 05/04/2018
Northeast Tech Instructor Becky Lamont (left), pictured here with Northeastern State University President Steve Turner, received the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student Award at NSU’s Ovation Awards on April 14. (Photo provided by Northeastern State University)

“To be honest, I didn’t want to be a nurse when I was young,” said Becky Lamont, one of the practical nursing instructors at Northeast Tech’s Kansas Campus. “Fast forward to today, and not only am I a nurse, but I’ve just finished earning my master’s degree in nursing. Life’s funny that way.”

Lamont, who has been and instructor at Northeast Tech for two years, has been working towards her degree since 2012 when she enrolled at Northeastern State University to begin pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She’s been working full-time while pursuing her degrees, and she’s more than slightly happy to have written her last paper.  

“I can honestly say – put it in bold and all caps – that I am done with school,” Lamont said with a laugh.

Not only will she walk across the stage in May to receive her degree, but Lamont also received a number of academic awards including the NSU Outstanding Graduate Student, the Honor Society Award and the Academic Achievement Award. Each of the awards included criteria such as grades, leadership and service to the community or professional organizations.

“Education has always been important to me, and I think that’s partly because in high school, I was a statistic. I was a teen mother,” Lamont said. “I graduated from high school, but I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence or direction in life.”

Lamont worked at several different jobs, trying to find her way through life as a young wife and mother, and she recalls watching her own mother as she went to nursing school during the day and worked at night.

“I thought, I’d never do that to myself and my family,” Lamont said. “It just seemed too hard.”

But then she started working as an aide at Quail Ridge Nursing Home, and something clicked.

“At first, I didn’t think I was cut out for it,” said Lamont. “The aromas would make me sick, and I thought, there’s no way I can do this.”

But before long, she moved to a CNA position, and then decided she needed to gain more knowledge so that she could be more involved in the care of her patients.

“College was more feasible for my work schedule, but it was too intimidating. I didn’t think I was college material,” Lamont said. “I enrolled at Northeast Tech, passed the NCLEX, and went to work as an LPN in Siloam Springs.”

Education and work experience continued to build her confidence, and before long, she was considering college.

“I wanted to be an RN, and after all I had done, I knew I could do it this time,” said Lamont. “If I would have gone straight to college, I don’t think I would have been as successful at it as I have been as an adult.” 

Six years later, Lamont is ready to walk across the stage, receive her diploma, and set about training up the next generation of nurses beginning their careers at Northeast Tech. And as an added feather in her cap, her daughter will complete her graduate degree in addiction counseling in December.

“Even though I took the long road, I don’t regret it,” Lamont said. “It was God’s plan for me. It made me the nurse I am today, and I hope that my experience will speak to those students who may be traveling a similar road to the one I’ve walked. It’s hard, but you can do it, and it’s worth it in the end.”

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