Just three months after Mackenzie Hoover received her associate degree in nursing from Laurel Ridge in May 2022, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
While doing a little research into how she could earn her bachelor’s degree, Hoover came across a co-enrollment program offered by George Mason University and applied as soon as she got into Laurel Ridge’s nursing program. Her GMU classes ran in a seven-week format, with 10 upper-level nursing courses each running seven weeks.
Student nurses in the co-enrollment program, which is online, are able to earn their BSN while concurrently attending a partner community college, according to GMU’s program website.
The 2019 Fauquier High School graduate enrolled in Laurel Ridge’s registered nursing program in August 2020. She’d spent the previous year taking prerequisites for the program. As her high school career neared a close, Hoover had been torn between becoming a teacher or a nurse. She enrolled in a certified nursing assistant course during her senior year, and discovered nursing was her calling.
Originally, Hoover had planned to go to GMU all four years to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing. But, financial considerations and coming across Laurel Ridge’s well-regarded nursing program led to a change of heart.
“I was adamant I didn’t want student loans,” said Hoover, who is working as a nurse in the emergency department at INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital.
At Laurel Ridge, Hoover benefited from the Alice and William Johnson Memorial Endowed Scholarship, as well as a Rotary Club of Warrenton Scholarship.
“There are some pretty amazing teachers at Laurel Ridge,” Hoover said. “And, I loved being close to home. I wouldn’t have been able to jumpstart my career or receive my BSN without first gaining an education from Laurel Ridge. I gained the foundation of my knowledge and was given the ability to sit for my NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) through Laurel Ridge.
“My ultimate goal is to achieve my certification as an adult and pediatric emergency room nurse and to continue to build my knowledge and climb the clinical ladder at my place of employment, taking new opportunities as they arise.”
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.