Student Overcomes Health Issues, Pursues Dream of Becoming a Nurse

nursesweekbanner

Nervous, excited, energized – Crystal Walker of Sauk Rapids, Minn. says she was full of emotion as she started her first quarter at the Rasmussen College St. Cloud campus. The School of Nursing student hadn’t stepped inside a college classroom for nearly 20 years.

“I graduated from high school in 1995,” said Walker. “About a year later I earned my associate’s degree in Applied Science. I’ve been working as a veterinary technician ever since.”

Walker says she’s always loved math and science and is fascinated by medicine. It’s the reason she’s worked with animals for so long, but part of her has always been interested in the human healthcare field.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices and hospitals,” said Walker. “Fear and physical limitations have held me back from pursuing my passion.”

When Walker was 15-years-old, she was in a serious car accident resulting in two back surgeries and leaving her with multiple herniated discs and chronic back pain. Then in 2001, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – a disorder characterized by widespread pain in the muscles and skeleton, fatigue and tenderness.

“That was really hard to hear; I still really haven’t accepted the diagnosis,” said Walker.

At the age of 30, Walker says she hit her low point. Having just undergone her second back surgery, she was in terrible discomfort. At times, Walker says she couldn’t even work because she was in so much pain.

“My doctors pretty much told me I wouldn’t be able to do my job anymore, or any job in the healthcare field for that matter,” said Walker. “It was really depressing and devastating, but at the same time it was motivating. I told myself there was no way I was going to be disabled at just 30-years-old.”

Instead, Walker says she decided to try something new – deep tissue massage. It was recommended by another doctor, so she found a massage therapist willing to work on her back. Walker says he changed her life.

“My back almost immediately started to improve,” said Walker. “I continued seeing him every week and eventually started yoga. It maycwalkernew
sound cheesy, but that’s who I want to be. I want to be that person that changes someone’s life.”

After six and a half years of therapy and a lifestyle change of healthier eating and staying active, Walker says she’s ready for her next adventure in life – going back to college and becoming a nurse.  

“It’s just something I feel pulled to do,” said Walker. “To have people in the healthcare profession who can steer you in the right direction is priceless. That’s who I want to be.”

Walker knows it won’t be easy. She plans to continue working full-time while pursuing her Practical Nursing Associate’s degree at Rasmussen College. After graduation, she hopes to continue her education and earn her bachelor’s degree.  

“There are so many opportunities in the nursing field,” said Walker. “Eventually, I’d like to specialize in neurology and surgery. What I’m looking forward to most, though, is being that person who patients can confide in and helping bring them comfort. People need advocates; I know I did, and that’s exactly what the role of a nurse is. If I can positively impact just one person’s life, it will be all worth it.”

Why did you decide to go back to college and what challenges have you overcome along the way? Share by commenting below or email us at socialmedia@rasmussen.edu

Molly Andersen

Molly Andersen is the Senior Strategic Communications and Brand Engagement Manager at Collegis Education. She's a passionate storyteller who believes in the power of education. Molly is responsible for creating content that educates, engages and inspires current, past and future students at Rasmussen College. 

writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Add your comment

*

Please enter your name.

*

Please enter your email.

*

Please enter your comment.

Take the Next Step—Talk to Us!

Request More Information

Talk with a program manager today.

Fill out the form to receive information about:
  • Program Details and Applying for Classes 
  • Financial Aid and FAFSA
  • Customized Support Services
  • Detailed Program Plan

Step 1 of 3

What's Your Name?

Please enter your first name.

Please enter your last name.

Step 2 of 3

Contact Information

Please enter your email address.

Please enter your phone number.

Please enter your five digit zip code.

Step 3 of 3

Program Preferences

Please choose a school of study.

Please choose a program.

Please choose a degree.

By requesting information, I authorize Rasmussen College to contact me by email, phone or text message at the number provided. There is no obligation to enroll.

icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-support logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x