National Nurses Day Holds Special Meaning for Harford Community College Nursing Student
When National Nurses Day is celebrated May 6, Harford Community College student Shreeyam Mishra will be wrapping up a full semester of studies for a career that she has wanted to pursue all her life––nursing.
"It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case, it happens to be true," Mishra explained. "Coming from a business family, everyone expected me to follow the same path and thought I was crazy to opt for a nursing career."
Mishra, an Abingdon resident, is in the ATB (associate-to-bachelor's) dual enrollment nursing program at Harford Community College. She takes classes in nursing and computer science at Harford toward an associate degree while also taking nursing classes at Towson University toward a bachelor's degree. She hopes to complete her associate degree at Harford in May 2022 and her bachelor's from Towson in December 2022.
Her goal is to be a nurse informaticist, which is a blend of nursing and computer science. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree in the field.
Her path to Harford Community College was a roundabout one.
After completing two years of an advanced nursing hospital program in her home country of India, she worked as a nursing assistant. In that role, Mishra "looked at my best nurse managers and thought, 'I could do that.' Then I looked at my inadequate nurse managers and thought, 'I know I could do better than that.’"
Knowing of her love for the nursing profession, Mishra's parents sent her to the United States to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing. While she planned to attend the University of Toledo in Ohio, a Christmas visit to relatives in Harford County in 2018 changed those plans. She became intrigued with Harford Community College and decided to apply.
"My parents had talked with me about community college, but I wasn’t sure if I would be accepted considering it was already late [in December 2018] for spring admission," Mishra said. "However, I don’t know if it’s luck or destiny, but I was accepted at Harford. That was the best decision I made."
"During my time at Harford, the faculty, staff and students have created the most comfortable and satisfying academic and social environments I have ever experienced. HCC has become my second home," Mishra explained. "I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The faculty and staff here are unbelievable. They always have your best interests at heart, and that’s why I really love this school."
While carrying a full load in the spring semester––15.5 credits at Harford and three at Towson––Mishra is also a leader in campus and community activities.
Mishra is executive vice president of the Rho Beta Chapter of the PTK Honor Society, an officer of Psi Beta, treasurer of the Student Government Association, a councilmember representing community colleges for the Maryland Youth Advisory Council and a member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Advisory Council. In addition, she is a student representative on the College's Academic Technology Advisory Committee and serves on one of the Middle States Self-Study Working Groups. She also joined the College's Emerging Leaders program, which has had a significant impact on her life.
Emerging Leaders is a program that prepares students for leadership in the classroom, workplace and community.
Mishra said Emerging Leaders "helped me gain my confidence. After completing my first Emerging Leader step, I know I am ready to step into a career involving high-pressure situations and quick decision making. It will help me become a competent, confident leader.”
She received an Emerging Leaders Scholarship (funded by the annual ATHENA Leadership Awards breakfast) and was the student speaker at this year's ATHENA virtual event in early March. Receiving the scholarship "was a special boost because I felt that someone else appreciated what I was doing," she said. "Everyone says a scholarship helps you complete college, but for me, it is helping me believe that I can also be a successful woman and make a difference to humanity."
Mishra provides advice to college students.
"Never stop looking for opportunities, because in every one of those buildings there are cool things going on that you should be taking part in. You have to know what you want to do," Mishra said. "Always set goals first and then act. As you take initiative and begin to pursue your goals, it gets easier. Always remember the road to your success is not a highway. You will have to create it on your own as you go."
About Harford Community College
Harford Community College, the anchor institution for higher education in Harford County, is centrally located on 352 acres near Bel Air. The College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs of study, as well as a variety of noncredit community education and workforce development courses. For more information, visit harford.edu.