I am a Coachella Valley native and I love our desert community. When I graduated from Palm Springs High School, I decided to attend College of the Desert, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. I eventually determined that nursing was my path, but I also had another calling: the U.S. Army.
Once I was accepted into COD's nursing program, I found out I was being deployed to Germany. I informed COD that I was going to give up my slot in the program, but that I wanted to resume my studies when I returned, if possible.
I spent nine amazing years in the Army, first deployed to Germany in 2003. I served subsequent tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, where I worked as a surgical tech for the military doctors there. Of course, my time in the service delayed my pursuit of a degree, and when I returned as Sgt. Moreno, I decided to use my GI Bill and attend nursing school as I had originally planned.
Thanks to the support I received from COD's Veterans Affairs Program, I was able to transition back, and I received my degree in 2007. I am now working in the intensive-care unit at JFK Memorial Hospital. I love what I do.
There is no question that nursing is a challenge, but I look at it this way: I am working for those of us who didn't get to come home and realize their dreams. Thanks to COD, mine came true.