Preparing for Takeoff: A Nursing Grad Shares His Path to Success
Each time Hawaii resident Shaun Voss ‘13 boards a plane, prepared for his next inter-island medical evacuation mission, it is with the confidence that Northern Essex Community College instilled in him long ago.
Once a student in NECC’s nursing program, Voss has, over the span of just one decade, earned nearly ten certifications and three degrees, becoming a registered nurse and taking his knowledge from one coast to another all the while. But his journey to success did not come so easily.
Back in 2008 Voss was a high school graduate with limited options. Amid the height of the economic recession, his working class family, living in Rochester, NH, existed without the means to provide for higher education or to assist him in obtaining a viable career. Still – Voss kept college at the forefront of his mind.
“I did not have a lot of resources or experience on how to obtain a higher education,” he says, “but I always knew I was destined to do so.”
It was while working as a nursing assistant and part-time EMT that he found his passion – and his way forward. Scouring the internet for affordable healthcare degrees, he learned about Northern Essex’s top-ranking nursing program through a Google search and was immediately sold.
“[NECC] had everything I needed in one location. The advisers gave me the guidance I needed to get started, making it a smooth experience.”
By 2010, Voss had completed his pre-requisite nursing courses and was accepted into NECC’s Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) certificate program. Despite some bumps in the road along the way, including difficulty balancing a full-time course load with a full-time night job, Voss made it through to graduation, eventually pursuing and receiving his associate of science degree in nursing and obtaining registered nursing (RN) status. He credits the many faculty members and advisers who encouraged him to continue pushing forward for making his dreams possible.
“This was truly the most superior program I have encountered to date,” he says. “It was challenging, it was exhausting, but the expectations of excellence from the faculty kept us motivated to perform well.”
His educational pursuits did not end here, he says. Following his graduation from NECC in 2013, Voss obtained an acute care inpatient hospital job at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, NY and received the qualifications needed to work in an ER setting, all while earning his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Granite State College and obtaining clinical-based certifications in pediatric advanced life support, trauma care nursing, emergency room nursing, neonatal resuscitation, and more.
And now, more eager than ever to expand his knowledge and apply it to those in need, Voss has taken his talents all the way to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he divides his time between Queen’s Medical Center: West Oahu and medical evacuation fixed-wing aircraft flights. But even soaring far above the land, he does not lose sight of where he first took off.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the experiences I have been given in my relatively short career,” he says. “And I’m proud to say it all started with Northern Essex Community College.”
Northern Essex offers associate degrees in Nursing (ADN) and Nursing Advanced Placement: LPN to ADN, in addition to a variety of health care degrees and certificates that prepare students for work in the field. For a complete list of offerings, please visit NECC’s health programs page.