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Veteran Eyes Future With LPN Degree

Posted by Paulo Salazar | July 12, 2012 / 03:11pm | Local News
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) - Last year, Esteban Facundo quit his job, packed his car and drove to Mississippi from Illinois to be with his then one-year-old son Mason.

Having served as a certified nursing assistant, he felt East Mississippi Community College's nursing program would help him launch his second career. It wasn't until he got here that he found out he'd been accepted into the Licensed Practical Nursing program.

"I was active in the Air Force for over 11 years. I've been to two different wars and I can promise you that this last year was the hardest year of my life," a Esteban said of the transition.

Esteban is not your average student. He is at least a decade older than most of his classmates. He says his focus has improved with age.

"You wake up, you go to school. You get off of school and you study until you pass out sometime to find yourself in school again over and over and over every day for the last year."

The program is very demanding and not everyone makes it. Thanks to his tireless work ethic, Esteban will graduate with honors and near the top of his class.

"My ultimate goal is to become an ER nurse and to be an ER nurse in most cases you have to be an RN. To be an ER nurse you also need a year or two of experience and that's why I'm becoming an LPN first," he explained.

Only 23 of his 46 classmates made it through the program. Esteban is looking forward to staying in Mississippi and spending time with his son.

EMCC holds its graduation Thursday night at 6.

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