Meet our Student
Talk about a roller-coaster ride.
Just a year shy of earning a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State University, Jennifer Lombardo packed up her belongings and moved across the country to be with her U.S. Marine Corps husband at Camp Pendleton.
A few months later he was sent to Afghanistan.
But now Sgt. David Lombardo is back home, the couple is expecting their first child in July, and Jennifer graduated from MiraCosta College in May with an associate’s degree in nursing.
“It was hard being here without my family, and it was especially hard with my husband being gone,” she said. “But the school was very supportive, the staff was very supportive and the students were very supportive.”
Jennifer, 23, said she was especially impressed with MiraCosta College’s nursing program. Even though she earned her degree at a community college, she said it surpassed what Central Connecticut State offered in many respects.
For one, Central Connecticut State’s nursing program was new, Jennifer said. MiraCosta College’s program was well established. “The nursing program here is great. They give you hands-on experience and teach you everything you need to know to be an effective, professional, highly trained nurse.”
Jennifer said she’s yearned to be a nurse since she was a small girl who often accompanied her diabetic mother to doctors’ offices and hospitals. Because her mother was a Spanish speaker who knew no English, Jennifer served as her translator and regularly interacted with medical staff.
“Just being in that environment all the time made me fall in love with nursing,” she said. “It made me want to work in a profession where I could help others.”
Because of the credits she accrued at MiraCosta College, Jennifer is but a few classes short of earning a bachelor’s degree from Central Connecticut State, should she return home. For now, however, she’ll continue working as a patient care technician at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in San Clemente while she applies for nursing positions there and at other south Orange County hospitals. Her husband, meanwhile, will soon have to decide whether to leave the Marine Corps after seven years for a career in law enforcement.
Whatever happens, Jennifer said she made the right choice by coming to MiraCosta College.
“I really enjoyed the staff and I loved the school,” she said. “I fit in right away.”