Natalie Hoover: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... of the opportunities!

Stasia Lopez's picture

Natalie Hoover started attending the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)—North Campus, in the fall of 2014 as a dual enrollment student since she was still in high school at the time. She studied nursing while she was at CCAC North Campus, and then transferred to CCAC Boyce Campus, which is where she finished her nursing degree and graduated in December 2017. While she was at CCAC, she was an Honor’s student and Honor’s Ambassador for North campus. Once she graduated, she became a Registered Nurse and started working at an emergency department in February 2018, where she still works today. 

Natalie Hoover: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... of the opportunities!

How did you choose your major? What motivated you to choose that field/profession? 
I chose my major based on the area where I thought I could help the most amount of people. I was motivated by the desire to help people to the best of my ability–and nursing was able to accomplish that. 

What did you enjoy about attending CCAC? Any memorable moment to share? 
One of the things I enjoyed about CCAC was that every person was able to choose what they wanted to achieve and accomplish by being there. People were able to choose how involved they wanted to be with the college and committees. One of my favorite moments was participating in the Cultural Committee at CCAC North Campus, and being able to coordinate for different ethnic groups to display some of the traditional arts, such as food from around the world, different talents, and different styles of dance. 

How involved were you at CCAC? Did you study abroad? Did you have internships or Co-Ops? Clinicals and/or practicums? Were you a part of any clubs, sports, or extracurriculars?  
I believe I was pretty involved in clubs at CCAC as much as I could be while in the nursing program. I had clinical rotations throughout hospitals, nursing homes, and long term acute care settings. I was in Phi Theta Kappa, and was one of the board members. I was in the Honor’s Program and was also an Honor’s Ambassador at CCAC North. 

Natalie Hoover: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... of the opportunities!

Did any of these experiences lead you into realizing your passions for work and career?  
The experiences I gained from clinicals in the nursing program provided me with the skill sets I utilize every day while working as a nurse in the emergency department. 

What (transferable) skills did you gain that you could take into a workplace? 
Some skills I gained were multitasking, coordinating, and communication. 

What are you hoping to do next? What would you like to do professionally? 
I have already obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and considering returning to school to get my Master’s degree. I enjoy the field I work in, and at this time, want to remain in my field of expertise. 

How do you manage stress (most especially during these uncertain times)? 
Laughter is the best key to managing stress. Working in the emergency department is normally stressful, but the coronavirus has added an additional layer of stress to my job. Talking to coworkers and friends help with managing stress. Baking and exercising also help with managing stress. 

Natalie Hoover: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... of the opportunities!

What do you want prospective college students to know—what advice do you have for them? 
Focus on your academics–you will make it through and graduate. There may be challenges you face, but it will get better. 

Who inspires you and why? Do you have any mentors or people of influence in your life? 
I do have mentors who influence my life for the better. I became a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner while being a nurse in the emergency department. I work with people who have been working with forensic nursing for longer than I have, and assist with guiding me in my practices, which I greatly appreciate. 

Anything else you’d like for us to know? 
I am grateful for my experiences at CCAC North Campus. 

Natalie Hoover: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... of the opportunities!


Read more stories, and why community college is so important, on #CommunityCollegeBecause:




Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is also a Director of Career Services at the Community College of Allegheny County. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.


All photos courtesy and copyright Natalie Hoover