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Home > Giving > Support Nursing Education > Jill's Story
"I think you’re on the wrong side of the desk."
Jill Holub was working in a doctor’s office as a receptionist more than seven years ago when her nurse colleague made that simple comment to her. It was an observation that changed her life.
"At the time, I was in my mid-30s and had never been to college," she said. "I was starting from scratch and I didn’t know if I could go back to school with a five-month-old infant at home. What it did, though, was change my perspective. From then on, I knew I wanted my BSN."
With her family's support, Jill went to back to school part-time at Kirkwood, and her education became a family priority.
"I started out taking one to two classes at a time in 2012 during the day while my husband worked nights," Jill said. "I also worked nights part-time, and my mom would help us out as we needed. Looking back, I don’t know how we did it. There was a time when my husband worked over 30 days in a row just to make it all work."
Jill graduated with her RN in 2017 and started full-time in Mercy’s Operating Room that fall. Knowing she wanted to get a minimum of two years of clinical experience under her belt, she took some time off from class to gain valuable skills. However, she never let go of her dream to obtain her BSN and started the nursing program at Mount Mercy University this past summer.
“It’s been my personal goal to get my BSN since 2012," she said. "It’s for me. It’s for my family. To have my now 8-year-old son see me study and work hard toward a goal is something that will leave an impression on him for the rest of his life."
Both Mercy Foundation scholarships and Mercy Education Assistance benefits are helping Jill to achieve her goal. In fact, it was her nurse manager who told her about the scholarships and the RN-BSN Cohort program offered through Organizational Development.
"Between the Cohort program and the scholarships, I’m paying next to nothing for my education," she said. "It shows that Mercy is willing to put the time and money into their employees to help us grow. It makes me feel like they have my back."
Jill can't express her gratitude for the scholarship program without getting emotional.
"It alleviates so much stress for my family and me," she said. "With working full-time, taking call and adding school hours on top of my weeks, you can imagine how the stress piles up. Knowing that I was able to have help with the financial portion of school has made it so much less stressful."
Jill wants any of her coworkers looking to continue their healthcare education to know about the opportunities available to them.
"Why wait? There’s no reason not to fill out the application," she said. "It’s there for a reason. It should be something on your radar if you're even thinking about going back to school soon."
Jill is looking ahead to what her future can be at Mercy as she has talked with mentors about a degree beyond her BSN – something she never thought she'd do when her coworker encouraged her to explore "the other side" of that reception desk seven years ago.