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Forced to Start Over, Rockford Alumna-Turned-Faculty Member Finds a Career She Loves

Even in the bleakest of times, getting a fresh education was the light that Bonnie Moore needed to find her true calling.

This past month, Moore, the School of Health Sciences HIT program coordinator at the Rasmussen College Rockford campus, spoke at the campus’s 10-year anniversary celebration as Rockford’s first faculty alumna. Moore has much to celebrate along with the College and cannot say enough about her love for the school, even though she never thought she would end up there.

For more than 15 years, Moore enjoyed a career as a Stress and Emotional Management Corporate Trainer. Little did she know that in 2008 she and her family would be experiencing one of the most stressful times of their lives. With the economic downturn, she and her husband both lost their jobs.

Moore knew she had to think quickly. She needed to find a new, stable career that could support her family, offer insurance and allow her to work into the foreseeable future.

At the age of 55, “this wasn’t a ‘follow your bliss’ kind of thing,” Moore says. At this point, she did not care if she was passionate about the career—she just needed to do something.

After doing in-depth research, she came across the Health Information Technology (HIT) field. While she was never interested in the medical field, this career path seemed to fit her needs. She quickly looked into how to get the credentials required and how she could enjoy similar successes she saw in her previous job.

She found she needed to get a degree from an accredited program. Rasmussen College turned out to be one of the few schools in her area that fit her requirements.

Moore was scared. She says she was, “up against the clock, wasn’t computer savvy and, frankly, felt old.”

“I had one shot to do this right,” Moore says.

At Rasmussen College, Moore felt supported and was not just a number, but she was actually heard.

When Moore first sat down with admissions and the HIT department, she was very impressed by the attention they gave her. She told them her concerns, and they worked to make her goals into a reality.

Within one month of graduation from the Rasmussen College Rockford campus, Moore, with the help of Career Services, had found a great job in medical billing and coding.

After working in the field for a few years, she returned to Rasmussen to work as a faculty member and then eventually became the School of Health Sciences’ HIT Program Coordinator and full-time faculty member. She says, “Teaching has become my ultimate passion.”

Moore says, “It’s funny; I absolutely love the field, way more than I could have ever imagined.”

Since Moore was a student not too long ago, she offers a unique insight to her students, which allows she and her students to connect. She often tells her students that she has been in their shoes and knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed and scared. She is aware that a majority of her students are starting over and are trying to do something better for themselves, which inspires her.

Moore uses her experience as a student to shape the way she teaches. For example, she remembers what concepts were difficult for her, knows how frustrating it is not to have emails answered promptly and understands the importance of providing feedback.

When asked what advice she would give to someone who feels that they need to start over, she says, “Get really clear on what you are needing,” and “Do your research on jobs and the best programs that will fit those defined needs. Ultimately, financial stress will override passion, so you need to make sure you are doing something that will sustain you financially.”

“It is important to know your options and be realistic,” Moore says, “And at the end of the day, get an education that will help you achieve your career goals, never settle, go after the best and find a school that will work on your behalf.”

Looking to find a healthcare career that is right for you, much like Moore’s experience? Explore the Healthcare Career Matchmaker infographic to learn more about what healthcare careers best match your personality.

To hear about more Rasmussen College Alumni news and stories, like our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hannah Burn

Hannah is a Sr. Communications Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She loves to share stories and hopes that her content inspires others to pursue their educational goals.

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