Student Spotlight: ABSN Student Shares His Amazing Path to Nursing

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The students in Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program come from all walks of life. Each has a unique story, a history that has contributed to why they chose to purse nursing degrees. Cory Smith, recently interviewed by Fox 59, is one such student.

Like all Marian University nursing program students, Cory already had a bachelor’s degree before enrolling to become a nurse. But his start in nursing didn’t come about because of a lack of fulfillment in public relations. Instead, Cory was partially inspired by his time in the United States Army.

Army Life

Between 2008 and 2012, Cory was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia and had two rotations in the Third Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. As he describes it, Cory was constantly busy in high-pressure situations and in a position that was both proactive and reactive. After leaving the army, Cory returned to Georgia.

Running from Georgia to Indiana

After his return to civilian life, Cory felt it was necessary to highlight the difficult transition many veterans face after combat. This includes high suicide rates, high unemployment levels and homelessness. Cory’s efforts to bring awareness to these alarming statistics led to his run from Columbus, GA to Indianapolis, IN, a total of 565 miles in 28 days. Now, runs are held every year by teams to complete 565 miles throughout the month of February to raise additional awareness. The profits of these runs go towards The Gallant Few nonprofit organization.

Choosing Nursing at Marian University

Cory’s motivation to continue giving back did not end there. Partially inspired by his grandmother and mother, both of whom were nurses, as well as his desire for a fast-paced and busy work environment reminiscent of his time in the army, Cory decided to pursue a career in nursing.

Cory never considered himself a people person, but he’s realized that he loves assisting people with their lives and their health and bringing a smile to their faces. His strength in communication is especially helpful when educating his patients on health prevention and health promotion.

A traditional four-year program wasn’t an option for Cory, or his daughter. Cory had to do what was best for both of them, and that involved spending as minimal time as possible earning his degree while working to support him and his daughter. “Life is short, and you have to make things happen while you can,” Cory said. Now, balancing his full-time position as a patient care technician at St.Vincent, his online classes, clinicals, and his daughter, Cory is on his way towards becoming a BSN-educated nurse, with just one more semester left until his graduation.

What’s Next

Cory doesn’t intend to stop after earning his BSN, either. His goal is to earn his master’s degree so he can work in emergency services, focusing specifically on policy.

Diverse ABSN Student Backgrounds

Cory isn’t the only ex-army student nurse. Among the students currently enrolled there is another Fort Benning ex-soldier, layers, educators, engineers, and chemists. Each person in the program has a different background with different strengths to contribute to their new role.

If you are considering changing careers, take a look at Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, where you can earn your BSN and be well-prepared for a position as an RN in as little as 16 months.