Nurse believes his profession is science and art, completes degree at UHCL
William Blalock became a registered nurse last year and quickly decided that he’d like to complete his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. He enrolled in classes at University of Houston-Clear Lake Pearland and in May, he will receive his diploma as well as a substantial raise in salary.
“I’ve been working as a registered nurse in a psychiatric adolescent behavioral health unit,” Blalock said. “I wanted to complete my degree at UH-Clear Lake because I was very impressed with the faculty and even though there are options to take classes online, I thought the in-person format was very important in my learning because I feel that nursing is both a science and an art. I couldn't master the art of nursing without the in-person interaction of my professors.”
Blalock said he worked full time with adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 22 at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in League City. “I intend to stay in the same area,” he said. “I will always be a psychiatric care nurse because of the patient interaction. I find someone in their darkest place and watch them grow and change and the light comes back into their eyes,” he said. “A lot of these kids don’t have someone in their lives to show them care and compassion, and to be able to sit down with a patient and show them that compassion when others have pushed them away and pull them out of that state is very rewarding to me.”
It wasn’t easy working 40 hours a week and going to school full-time, Blalock said, but he was able to finish his coursework in two semesters. “My work lets me off Tuesdays and Thursdays and I work the other five days, and it’s just about setting goals and knocking them out,” he said. “The faculty is very clear on their expectations. They give it all to you in the beginning. You just have to line it all up, make your to-do lists and keep working on them.”
Even with full-time work, a fiancée, a baby on the way, and a move to a new home, Blalock said his professors’ flexibility helped him succeed. “I really believe this is one of the best RN-to-BSN programs,” he said. “The faculty is highly qualified and they care so much. I have had more communication than I ever expected from my professors during the COVID-19 quarantine. They check on us personally, they check on our work, and they respond right away.”
He said any registered nurse looking to complete their degree should consider UHCL’s program. “We are nurses, and we have a unique ability to prioritize and execute,” he said. “A good nurse can do this program because it’s made for nurses by nurses with the success of nurses in mind. It’s not about taking the board exam again, it’s about becoming a better nurse.”
He added that although he was very busy, there was never a day when he didn’t feel like coming to class. “I never felt like I ‘have’ to go to school today,” he said. “The environment is really good and I was always glad to go to class. And when I get my degree, I am going to get a really good raise, and with the baby on the way, that’s very important.”
Learn more about UHCL’s Nursing program online.