I Define Success: Laura Ernst-Davies

It’s often said that our biggest setbacks can lead to our greatest opportunities—if we work through them. That’s certainly been the case for Laura Ernst-Davies, who graduated this month with a Nursing degree from Ivy Tech Community College.

In 2014, Laura’s world was shaken by the death of her husband. A stay-at-home mom with five children, she knew her life would never be the same. And while she had previously earned a bachelor’s degree, she chose to pursue a career path that would provide for her family in the long run: nursing.

Laura enrolled at Ivy Tech and immediately immersed herself in classes in anatomy and physiology, math, and microbiology. She says she knew she made the right choice almost right from the start.

“Even though I may have been eligible for an accelerated BSN program because of my previous college degree, Ivy Tech gave me the chance to learn from an amazing nursing faculty while being able to balance my family life and finances,” she explains. “Several of my classmates are moms like me looking to re-enter the workforce after a long absence. Their stories have inspired me to think about the type of nurse I want to be.”

Despite her busy schedule, Laura has excelled as a student and stayed involved on campus beyond the classroom as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the Student Nurses Association. And during her final semester at Ivy Tech, she completed a Capstone course and visited with Ivy Tech Career Development to polish on her resume and interviewing skills. Her hard work paid off, with a job offer coming her way before graduation.

“I have recently accepted an RN position with a local healthcare network,” Laura says, “and I’ll begin my nursing career shortly after completing my licensing boards.”

Laura says that while none of this is what she had planned nearly thirty years ago, she’s grateful for the opportunities that have emerged along the way.

“My bachelor’s degree is from a prestigious university, but I have never been more proud than I am to be an Ivy Tech graduate,” Laura says. “When I started classes at Ivy Tech in 2015 after becoming suddenly widowed, school was my lifeline. It gave me an outlet for my grief. Now, I’m attaining my dream of becoming a nurse—something I have wanted for more than 20 years.”


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