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Realizing a lifelong dream: One mother’s journey to becoming a nurse

Nevada Pokorney shares firsthand how she shifted from a career in business to fulfilling her dream of becoming a registered nurse at Memorial Hospital. Emphasizing the sacrifices and support from her family, her story underscores the importance of working hard to pursue your passion. Nevada attended Ivy Tech Community College as a Beacon Scholar.

I have been trying to find the right words to express what graduating from nursing school means to me. I still don’t have them. I don’t know if I ever truly will. It has been a nearly lifelong dream of mine to do something that helps other people and makes a difference.

Life took me down a different path. I had a bachelor’s degree, a career in business and made great money. But it wasn’t fulfilling.

Then, during the very beginning of COVID, I lost my job. I took some time off to help my kiddos transition to e-learning and navigate the pandemic as best we could. I decided then that it was the right time to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse.

I didn’t do this alone. The kids sacrificed so much. I wasn’t at every game or school event. We ate a lot of junk meals on the fly, and our house was often messy. I was more of a stressed-out hot mess of a mom than I was before. Their dads stepped in and picked up a lot of my slack. They did way more than their fair shares of pickups and drop-offs, driving to practices and games, washing uniform and handling many of the other balls I dropped over the last two years so the kids didn’t miss out.

Not only do I get to live my dream now, but I also got to show my kids many things that I feel are so important: You’re never stuck. Money isn’t the only thing that matters when choosing your career. You have to work hard for the things you want. People matter more than any of the material things.

One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Napoleon Hill. He said, “Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard at it.” I’m so thankful that I finally get to have my version of a successful career.

Learn more about Memorial Hospital

Since 1894, Memorial Hospital of South Bend, our largest hospital, has served you and your family’s health care needs. Here we deliver babies, treat illnesses, perform life-saving surgeries and provide emergency services around the clock. And now, with our state-of-the-art 10-story patient tower project underway, the largest project in Memorial’s 130-year history, we are moving toward the future. As we look forward, rest assured that we continue to provide the same compassionate care you have always known and trusted at our downtown location. We are here for you, right where you live. 

How to become a Beacon Scholar

Beacon Scholars can focus on their studies knowing that all their tuition, books and school fees for Ivy Tech’s Associate of Science in Nursing Program are fully paid by Beacon. And Beacon Scholars can also rest assured knowing they have a full-time bedside RN career waiting for them following graduation. Learn more about the program and how you or someone you know can become a Beacon Scholar.

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.