MARIETTA, OHIO—Washington State Community College (WSCC) student of the month Abby Crock seems to have it all together. The mom of three active teenage daughters is successfully balancing her life between family, work, and school. The secret to her success — teamwork.
Crock acknowledges that life, while she’s been in nursing school, has been challenging. As a mom with three athletic kids who keep her busy running to practices for cross country, track, club volleyball, gymnastics, and cheer, constantly has someplace to be. “There’s always something,” she laughed, “So there’s a lot of studying in my car while I sit and wait at practice.” She candidly admits that it’s been difficult and said she has on multiple occasions questioned her decision to return to college. “It’s been a sacrifice at times for the whole family. We have really had to work as a team, especially my husband and I, to keep the ship afloat some days.” She also gives credit to having a strong community support system. “I’m lucky to have a good circle. My kids are surrounded by good friends whose families love us and can help when we need it. It really takes a community.”
Pursuing a career in healthcare has always been her dream. When she graduated high school in 2001, she joined the Army Reserves and enrolled at Kent State with the ambition of becoming a doctor. “The war in Iraq threw me off track and then I met my husband. I decided it was more important to me to have a family than to finish my degree.” However, she realized that as her girls got older she felt like they didn’t need her as much and, “I wanted to have something to do when they’re gone.” As a result of that reflection, she rekindled her dream.
Returning to college after nearly two decades away from the classroom was a little overwhelming, but she quickly acclimated. “Time management is crucial,” she acknowledged. “The curriculum is challenging and the testing is difficult. That being said, it’s important that [the college] maintains such high standards.” Those elevated expectations are why Washington State’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program has some of the highest national licensure pass rates in the state, which is one of the reasons Crock opted to commute from Caldwell to Marietta to earn her degree. “I chose WSCC because of their high NCLEX passage rate, the accessibility of classes, and the convenience of the location. Also, when I was growing, up my mother got her associate degree in accounting from WSCC, so it is special to me.”
From the start, Crock stood out as a leader, said ADN Associate Professor Tracey Bogard. “She is the type of student that stays engaged and makes teaching fun. Abby exemplifies the heart of nursing and is a great role model for her peers. She will be a great asset to the nursing community.”
Crock’s regard for academic excellence resulted in the receipt of two scholarships from the WSCC Foundation, the Jack G. Ingram Scholarship and the Dorothy S. Greacen Memorial Nursing Scholarship. Her desire to do well was also recognized during her clinical rotation. Last fall, a local hospital offered her a position more than eight months before she earns her ADN. “I jumped at the opportunity because I loved it there. I loved the floor and the staff,” Crock said enthusiastically.
“I feel like I’ve been able to be successful because of the great instructors in the nursing program,” said Crock. “They’ve all been very accessible and encouraging. They truly want the students to succeed.”