(SWEETWATER, Texas) – Jere Lowe, of Bryson, had a career goal.
Due to unforeseen circumstances in her life, Lowe put her dream of being a traveling nurse on hold to take care of her family. When an opportunity to pursue her goal opened, Lowe enrolled in Texas State Technical College’s Nursing program.
The longtime licensed vocational nurse is a candidate for graduation this summer through TSTC’s licensed vocational nurse transition to registered nurse (LVN to RN) program.
“I had some things happen in my life, and I had to take care of that first,” said Lowe, who has been an LVN for 22 years.
Prior to enrolling at TSTC, Lowe lived through the death of her first husband due to the swine flu pandemic. She later remarried, and her current husband is being treated for cancer.
She found the time to take classes, work at Faith Community Hospital in Jacksboro and care for her husband.
Through it all, Lowe said it was her husband’s encouragement to reach her goal that inspired her to become an RN.
“I want to thank my husband. This has been a four-year journey for us. The last two years, we have not been able to travel. It has all been me in school,” she said.
Lowe plans to remain in Jacksboro until she can become a traveling nurse. She knows nursing agencies look to hire people who have at least one year of RN experience. Lowe is also planning to further her education in the future.
The traveling nurse concept began in response to the nursing shortage in the U.S. Lowe said she hopes to work for an agency that will send her to help people in need.
“It is a great way to see America, get paid and, most importantly, help people,” she said.
Lowe was drawn to a nursing career at a young age. When she was a child, a family member was a nurse.
“She would walk in back when (nurses) wore the dresses and hats. I was hooked,” she said. “I knew then I wanted to help people. I wanted to give them the peace that everything was going to be OK.”
Lowe said completing the hybrid classes that combined online classes and in-person clinicals at TSTC helped her at home. She was able to work and care for her husband and help in the hospital’s emergency room.
“The instructors were always there, maybe a little too much,” she said. “I remember texting one of my instructors at 2 or 3 in the morning after getting off from work. I was surprised they would respond to me that late.”
Lowe said that type of dedication is what the nursing field is about.
“We know we have to be ready to work at any time. It is a 24/7 job for us,” she said.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. For more information, go to https://tstc.edu/admissions.