Kristina Beckford - Pre-RN Program StudentMy mom, Andrea Beckford, who is a Registered Nurse at Brookdale Hospital was ecstatic to be able to get me involved in the academic program. During my freshman year of high school, I attended an in-person informational session and had an interview for the program. Not long after the major shutdown due to COVID, I took online classes, such as Algebra 2, Performing Arts and U.S. History, but my favorite was Social Justice. In this class I learned about topics like redlining and abortion. I could say the
same for all teachers, being that every staff member’s top priority was to ensure that all students wanted to participate in the class.

Toward the end of my sophomore year, I interviewed to be a part of the Pre-Registered Nursing Program, which was an unconventional process. All applicants attending a Zoom call had to answer prompts in a group setting, we were quizzed on a lesson regarding burns and lesions, and we had to write a short essay on where we see ourselves professionally in the future. After being accepted, I did not fully comprehend the commitment that this program demanded. While attending online classes, the program prepared me for what college would be like, with lectures from Dr. Blake, writing research papers, taking anatomy and physiology classes, and learning how to cite using APA. Through analyzing case studies and answering practice National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) questions, we learned about the nursing profession and hospital environment.

It was not until I got into the Pre-RN Program that I also had access to a network of resources like a college advisor, scholarships and the ability to network with alumni from the program and professionals who want to help the next generation of healthcare providers. I have been asked about my plans for the future many times since navigating the college application process. I can confidently say that I will strive to become an educator and a mentor in my future career. I will pursue a healthcare career as most of
the college majors I have applied for are Nursing, Biology and Biomedical Engineering. The next step is deciding which college I will attend by the end of April to earn a Bachelor’s degree and further my career.