Southeastern Illinois College is known for its highly reputed nursing programs. In 2017, SIC earned the accolade of the number one Registered Nursing (RN) and Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs in the state of Illinois. However, a program is only as successful as its students. SIC Nursing has produced many students who have found success in their careers.
One such student is Josh Richardson. Richardson, a Galatia native and U.S. Army Veteran, completed the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program in 2009 and the ADN program in 2011. Richardson later continued his education at Chamberlain University in Chicago, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015 and a Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner in 2017.
Richardson explained that his time at SIC was an important step towards his goals.
“I feel like my time at SIC was instrumental in my success of obtaining my MSN,” Richardson said. “Once I began classes at Chamberlain, I was truly amazed at how well-prepared I was for advanced level course work. I give all the credit to the fact that I completed one of the highest caliber ADN programs in the country.”
Richardson, along with many other current medical professionals, count SIC as the launching platform which helped lead to a successful career. With 100 percent of SIC students passing the rigorous program in 2016, it is clear that SIC’s nursing programs are a cut above the rest.
“That’s an easy one. It’s the absolute commitment to excellence that the faculty possesses,” Richardson replied when asked what makes the SIC nursing program so successful. “They truly care about the quality of nurses that SIC sends out into the world, and they care about the future patients for whom we will be caring.”
Richardson said that transferring from SIC was a seamless process in his experience.
“There was no difficulty whatsoever transferring my credits,” Richardson said. “They reviewed my credits from SIC and accepted everything I took without question.”
Richardson is just one of the many success stories beginning at SIC. Any person with an interest in a nursing career is encouraged to look into SIC’s program.
“The quality of instruction and examples of leadership and excellence I received from the instructors in the nursing program at SIC are what built the rock solid foundation in nursing that allowed me to succeed at Chamberlain University,” Richardson said.
Prior to his nursing studies, Richardson graduated from Galatia High School. He then joined the U.S. Army, where he served for nearly five years.
“I spent four years and eight months on active duty with the Army,” Richardson recounts. “I was stationed in Germany for a little over four years followed by two months in Kosovo working with NATO on a peace keeping mission in 2003, and from February 2004 to March 2005 I was deployed to Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom 2. I left the Army holding the rank of E-4 Specialist.”
It was after his time in the Army that Richardson decided to return to school, choosing SIC due to its low costs and proximity to home. Richardson is one of the many ‘nontraditional’ students to enroll at SIC and be successful.
“I went through the entire evolution of being a student I think,” Richardson said. “I started as a 24-year-old single man going to typical on-campus classes. I got married while I was in the LPN program. After the LPN program I began working full time while still going to school full time. I worked 12-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday, and whatever my one day off during the week was, I spent it working at Carrier Mills Nursing Home. By the time I started my coursework at Chamberlain I was married with three children at home.”
Despite the load of being a full-time student, full-time employee and husband, Richardson says that SIC is home to some of his fondest memories.
“I have quite a few fond memories from SIC,” Richardson said. “They mostly involve all of the wonderful people I met; both students and faculty. I would have to say my fondest memory though was my ADN pinning ceremony. That feeling of pride that I had, my fellow students had, and that the instructors had for us was something special I will always remember.”
Richardson now holds a master’s degree in nursing. Looking back on the road to reach this point, Richardson admits that is was long and sometimes difficult. But in the end, it has paid off.
“My kids are now 11, six and four,” Richardson said. “The two youngest have pretty much only known me as a student. It has become routine for them to ask me if I have to do homework tonight. Being a student, husband, father, full-time nurse, volunteer baseball coach and Sunday school teacher have kept my plate pretty full. But now that I have finished school I can say it was all worth it.”
The Southeastern Illinois College nursing program is ranked #1 in the state of Illinois. The program began in 1955 with a class of 13 students in the lower level of Harrisburg High School. It was the only program of its kind in Illinois, south of St. Louis, at that time. Since then, it has grown to approximately 100 students each year and includes online and traditional classes. The SIC nursing programs will be accepting even more students this fall, as recently approved by the Board of Trustees, as nurses are in high demand.
For more information about nursing and allied health programs, as well as prerequisite courses, contact Amy Murphy, director of nursing, at 618-252-5400, ext. 2330 or email@example.com, or visit www.sic.edu/nursing.
Written by Bailey Drone, SIC Student