Chris Fogarty

February 2012
Class of 2013


I believe this about nursing..."It has given me a deeper appreciation for the need for compassionate care."

I lost my job in August 2010 where I was working for a small fabrication company in northwest Ohio.  I had spent the previous 6 years working for that company in the customer service departments, both as a technician and manager.  I didn't mind the work and loved the interaction I had with people, but I got into the field as a matter of convenience immediately following my graduation from college.  My wife and I had been married over five years when I lost my job, and we were expecting our fourth child.  She had spent our entire marriage as a full-time mommy and we wanted to keep it that way.  Although our initial thought was for me to take the first job opportunity that came up, we realized that the best solution for our family would be to explore a career that I would truly be passionate about.

I was having coffee with a college friend who had recently graduated from an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program, and he encouraged me to explore similar options.  Around this time I received a call asking whether I was interested in doing home health care for an elderly gentleman who needed overnight care. I was interested and accepted the position and almost immediately after beginning, I realized that this home health care experience was giving me a much deeper appreciation for the need for compassionate care. As I helped this older gentleman struggle into bed, held his hand as he cried for his deceased wife, and assisted him with basic needs such as getting into and out of the tub, I knew that my calling was in health care.  I immediately began looking at options that would allow me to go back to school for nursing.

I was accepted to a community college in my wife's hometown of Canton, OH, where I started classes in January 2011 after moving our family (including our 6-day old daughter!) to the empty 2nd floor of her parents' home.  I knew that I wanted to attend Kent State's accelerated BSN program, and worked hard to achieve the grades needed to get accepted.  I was still receiving unemployment benefits, but with nursing school extending two more years at a minimum, I knew that I would have to rely on other means to pay for my education and to help us get by.  When I was finally accepted to Kent's program and found out that I was eligible to apply for the Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing scholarship, I was ecstatic at the opportunity.  Having made such a life-changing decision to pursue an entirely new career path, when I had a wife and four kids relying on my success and support, seemed too good to be true.  Imagine my excitement when I found I had been awarded the scholarship!  It has provided such a boost for us.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to study nursing and for the Robert Wood Johnson NCIN scholarship's part in making it possible.