After Being Involved in a Car Accident, Patience Nixon Reevaluated What She Wanted to Do
For 19 years, Patience Nixon was a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) working three jobs in homecare. It wasn’t until she was involved in a T-bone car accident that she was forced to take a step back for three months to recover. That time off led her to the Professional Nursing (ADN) program at Rasmussen University.
Patience loves to work and says she loves what she does, but she was getting burnt out working three jobs. She also didn’t know how to get out of the “rut” she felt she was in.
“After the accident, I was out of commission for a few months. I had to really think about [what] I wanted for my life and what my course of action needed to be. I needed something more. During recovery from the accident, I started studying for the TEAS test, [Test of Essential Academic Skills, a standardized entrance exam for those applying to nursing school] day and night, but I kept studying and was never deterred,” Patience says.
In a way, Patience believed the accident was a way for her to advance her education. “I was always working in the healthcare system, and I loved what I did, but I wasn’t improving myself intellectually or skill-wise. The accident was a wake-up call, knowing that it was time to do something more, and it gave me the freedom to sit and study and focus on what I wanted in life.” After passing her TEAS test, she enrolled in the Professional Nursing program at Rasmussen. When asked why she chose Rasmussen over other schools, she said, “They were to the point. I like the conciseness; they gave me what I needed to get through the program, and I liked that.”
Patience says her husband was the biggest encourager to help her succeed in her education. She says, “He has been my champion. He has been my encourager. He has physically, mentally and emotionally supported me in every aspect of my life.” Her husband took over the “mom and dad” role while she was finishing her education, bringing in the income and feeding the kids while she worked long clinical hours.
About a year ago, Patience took another leap of faith and decided to start her own home healthcare organization. One morning after getting off the night shift, Patience says she thought of a young man whom she took care of many years ago and his grandmother she got to know well. Patience says she felt an overwhelming feeling to give the grandmother, Sue, a call and ask about potential clients for her home healthcare practice. She told herself she would call Sue after she got some sleep. Upon waking up, Patience had a missed call and a voicemail from Sue wanting to check in.
“It gave me goosebumps,” said Patience. “When I called her back, I asked if she had been thinking about me, and she said, ‘No, you just came over me very heavy this morning, and I just wanted to call to make sure you were okay.’ When I think about it today, I still get the chills.”
Patience says she wanted to start her own home healthcare organization because, while working at a smaller agency at the time, she noticed parts that were lacking and how she could make a difference.
“I believe in my heart that this is what I’m meant to do, and I am meant to be on this path,” she said.
When asking what advice to give students, she said, “Follow your gut. In life, you may not have the perfect support system, but if you truly want it, you can get it. If you can’t do it by yourself, find a study group, reach out to your professors, and above anything, don’t give up. You have to want it. If you want it, you will get it.”