Corenna Smith

HCN Success Stories
Corenna Smith

I walked into Hondros College of Nursing on the first day about an hour early to pick my seat. Another student, just as nervous as I, asked if I minded them sitting next to me. Term one was mostly about finding my work, life, and school balance. I had to figure out when I needed to be at school, where I fit in at work, and determine when I had time for my family. I finished term one on the Dean's List, and I went off to term two.

I went into term two confident because I did so well in term one. However, term two was different. My assignments were lengthier, and tests became more difficult. Soon work, life, and school were harder to balance. In term two, it was mostly about finding strategies to be successful that worked for me. I finished term two on the President's List, and I was off to term three before I knew it.

Term three was another big step up and not what I expected. In term three the assignments were very long, and tests were quite difficult. At this point, I really wanted to help others while helping myself. This is when I decided I wanted to become a peer tutor. The College offered compensation through the work study program, but compensation was not the reason I wanted to tutor. Term three is hard but it can be done. My key to term three success was arrive early and study every day, even if it is only for an hour. At that point I knew I did not just want to be a nurse; I wanted to be the best nurse. I gave 110% in the classroom, lab, and clinical. With three terms and two HESIs in the books, I was off to term four.

In term four you use everything from terms one through three, and even a little more. Be sure to anticipate this level of difficulty. I remember taking my first exam in term four and I failed it. It was nobody's fault but my own. In my head, I knew success or failure was only in my control. All students receive the same information and most pass, so I knew I could too. At that point, I reevaluated the situation by looking at, what I was doing wrong and what I could do better. I really focused on what the instructors were saying, strategies that work, and the tools available to me. I was quite certain I would pass term four, but now the HESI would determine if I would graduate. I was so stressed, but instead of giving up, I decided to give 110%. I got out everything I had for review materials. I pulled out my HESI results and looked at the weak areas. From there I voiced my concerns to instructors and asked how I could do better. I even sat down with the Assistant Director of Nursing and the Campus Dean. The support received from everyone far exceeded my expectations.

After reading my story, here are some parting words. I started in term one making friends and trying to figure out nursing school. Then term four came around and I focused on myself and what I needed. For my success I tried to stay current with what we were learning. Every day I practiced test taking strategies. Between terms, I would take a couple days for a mental break and then start preparing for the next term. I know my strategies might not help everyone, but hopefully they can help guide you.

Hondros College of Nursing has everything you need and more. You are the one that will decide your success, and you all can do this! I have finished at Hondros but would love nothing more than to continue helping students. I sincerely want to thank everyone at Hondros for all the encouragement and support to push me forward when I did not think I could!

Corenna Smith is a graduate of the Practical Nursing Program at our Fairborn campus.