Michael Zizzi

My decision to go back school and pursue a nursing degree at Piedmont Community College was rooted in my desire to help people. As a former Army combat medic, I was many years removed from direct patient care and had been in medical management in various capacities for years. I obtained a bachelor's degree after leaving the Army and had never considered going back to school. After talking with PCC's Associate Degree Nursing Director in 2011, I realized what a great opportunity PCC offered. The nearby location and low costs made going back to school a no brainer.

I was apprehensive at first; it had many years since I had been in school, and I wondered if I could “hang” with younger generation; many of my classmates had gone to school with my own children. After a few weeks I found I could not only do the work necessary but excelled and enjoyed the challenge. Going back to school later in life allowed me to enjoy and embrace learning at a much different level. I have also found I enjoy tutoring first-year nursing students and in a way feel an obligation to give back because of this great opportunity.

Opportunities are what you make of them. After completing many semesters of clinical rotations at various area hospitals, I would put PCC nursing students, instructors and its nursing program as a whole up against any.