Azaz Shah: Laurel Ridge crucial step on path to becoming a nurse practitioner ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
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Azaz Shah: Laurel Ridge crucial step on path to becoming a nurse practitioner

Azaz Shah

Azaz Shah doesn’t think he could’ve gone to college had it not been for Laurel Ridge. Which would be a shame since the registered nursing student hopes to one day become a nurse practitioner.

“If I’m being completely honest, if it wasn’t for the Laurel Ridge Community College nursing program, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college because of the financial aspect of it,” he said. “Besides being very affordable, the program has great ratings and pass rates on the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination).”

Even though there were other colleges closer to his Leesburg home, Laurel Ridge “just felt right.”

“The faculty’s amazing,” said Shah. “The students I’m with are great. The way the program is set up is great. The clinicals, the equipment we have in the facility, the mannequins, they’re all like top-notch, very technologically advanced. The mannequins we use simulate a real-world environment.”

Azaz Shah

Azaz Shah hopes to become a nurse practitioner.

Having the ability to simulate real-world patient scenarios was especially helpful when the pandemic led to some clinicals being canceled, he said.

“We didn’t lose that time,” Shah explained. “We could still work on those mannequins and get real-life feedback.”

Shah praised his professors, particularly Professor Kathryn Regula and Professor Elizabeth Marshall.

“I really liked Professor Regula’s style of teaching,” he said. “She’s very informative, gives you a lot of real-life stories. And, Professor Marshall is great. She keeps the class morale high. She has a good sense of humor, which helps me learn.

“Everyone always says nursing school is hard, and it is, but it’s a good environment. It’s an environment that makes you want to learn. The professors push you, but not to the point where you break. They’re always there to help you and give you good feedback. And, the students around me are great people. I want to come to class.”

Shah also found the college’s librarians and tutors very helpful. He was able to use G3 funding to cover the costs of textbooks and technology. Learn more about the G3 program at and about the college’s nursing program at

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.