Elizabeth Perez

Elizabeth Perez

Discovering Purpose Through TikTok
Elizabeth Perez is a driven and passionate student whose journey to a fulfilling career in nursing began while she was still in high school. With the guidance of a counselor, support from friends and family, and after watching many, many TikToks, Elizabeth was the first in her family to navigate college-level coursework.

“During quarantine, I thought about what I wanted to do after high school and I still didn’t know. I kept seeing a bunch of nursing TikToks and I realized I could really help people and make an impact if I became a nurse. My counselor told me I could enroll in Oakton's Basic Nurse Assistant Training (BNAT) while I was still in high school and really guided me into the path of nursing. I’m so grateful to my counselor because the BNAT program gave me a glimpse into the Nursing world.”

A Glimpse into the World of Nursing
Oakton partners with high schools across the district area to bring college-level classes—for both the academic and career technical disciplines—to high school classrooms. Elizabeth was able to explore the Nursing field and earn college credit through the BNAT program. BNAT students are required to complete clinical coursework—supervised experiences where the student takes care of patients. After these experiences, Elizabeth has a good idea of what she would be good at in the nursing field.

“My teachers were kind, but they pushed me to be better. My BNAT courses taught me how to redirect patients who become irritated, which is also useful for keeping the peace among friends and family. During clinicals, I applied what I learned in the classroom, but quickly realized everyone requires different care based on their needs. I learned how to care for every patient. Thanks clinicals for teaching me that!”

“After going through the Nursing program at Oakton, which I hope to get into Fall 2024, I really want to work in labor and delivery. Although it is really sad when they don’t make it, it is such a gift to see babies being born and I think it would be fun to help mom and baby. After a couple of years of that, I want to provide care to the premature babies. I have a steady hand and I’m gentle, so I think I’ll be good at working with those babies.”

Where Can A Career Take You?
According to Elizabeth, nursing can take her to all of the places she wants to see. She believes travel nursing will give her a chance to help others while also having life experiences she has always wanted.

“Travel nursing looks fun. I would love to travel while caring for patients in different states. I never really got to go on family vacations growing up. My parents were doing their best to figure it all out and adjust to life in the United States. I was their first kid and they depended on me a lot, so I’ve always strived to be a good role model for my siblings. As a first-generation student, I kinda had to find my way on my own. Using the resources around me was really important. I thank my teachers, family and friends so much. My teachers and counselors made me the student I am today. I am grateful for my parents who raised me to have a really good work ethic. I am a big believer that if you are passionate about something, take action. You don’t have to wait.”