Jenny Luo Achord had never thought of being a nurse until about four years ago when she delivered her second child at a South Florida hospital. Since then- a pandemic, graduation postponements, and online learning transition haven’t stopped the 37-year-old from achieving her goals. Despite all of the challenges, the December 2020 Associate of Science in Nursing graduate is excited to begin her nursing career. 

“I still remember my nurse’s name [from when I was in the hospital]. She gave me excellent care, and she was so much help,” Luo Achord said. “I was so grateful and touched. I want to be someone like her. She was my inspiration to join this career path.”

Making Adjustments to Achieve Her Dream

Along with thousands of other students, Luo Achord was faced with the challenge of remote learning. The mother of two had to adjust to lectures and clinicals online, her elementary-aged son learning from home, caring for her 4-year-old daughter, and her husband working from home. Even with all these changes, she said overall, she adjusted well and was thankful that everyone was healthy.

For Luo Achord, the most challenging part of remote learning was the lack of clinical rotations in a hospital. To help with this, she took advantage of Broward College’s Health Science Simulation Center (HSSC). Through simulations, nursing students can work on a mannequin simulator as if it were a patient. She said, “it’s pretty amazing how closely it feels to being in a hospital setting.” There are also benefits such as preparing and going through a de-briefing process after the simulation to discuss where things could be improved or done differently in the future.

Providing Care Even Before Completing the Nursing Degree

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Luo Achord worked to connect the Chinese community in her area to make N-95 mask donations. As a nursing student, her friend asked for her advice on where there was a need for masks that would go directly to the hands of healthcare providers. Through her connections, they were able to determine Broward Health and Holy Cross hospitals were great starting points. The connections she made resulted in donations of over 1,600 masks.

“As a nursing student, I have a lot of love for all of the nurses and healthcare providers – I wanted to be a part of helping,” the Weston resident said. “My friends reached out, and I wanted to be the bridge to make the right connections.”

Throughout the next few months, she plans to celebrate her graduation in the Associate of Science in Nursing motorized processional event on Dec. 16 and study for her certification exams before applying for jobs.

“I am very excited and happy to graduate this semester,” she said. “I am grateful to be able to graduate during the pandemic.”