Student Perspective: Nicole Jones

 Published: June 6, 2018

By: Heather Willden


photo of nicole jones (center) at AARC Congress
Virginia Student Sputum Bowl Team at AARC Congress 2017 in Indianapolis, IN. (L to R: Jessica Worley, Nicole Jones, and Sally Sizer)

Nicole Jones, of Virginia Community Colleges, discusses the experience that motivated her to pursue a career in respiratory therapy as well as her perspective on being an AARC student member.

Student Membership Sets Strong Foundation

By Nicole Jones

Shadowing leads to inspiration
photo of nicole jones
Nicole Jones

I became interested in respiratory therapy because of my practicum experience for my undergraduate degree. I attended James Madison University to study Kinesiology and chose the local hospital’s respiratory department to shadow and intern with for a semester.

I spent significant amounts of time in the cardiopulmonary rehab center and absolutely adored my time there. I also had the opportunity to shadow therapists in other areas of the hospital.

By the end of the semester, I was so intrigued by the profession that I decided to pursue it further after graduation. This led me to Central Virginia Community College.

Since starting the program, I have discovered even more wonderful aspects about the profession that I did not know prior to applying, and I am looking forward to starting my career in the upcoming months.

Get involved

I have had incredible professors and clinical preceptors that have encouraged me to be involved in the respiratory community in various ways.

Being a student member of the AARC has opened the door to so many opportunities I never thought I’d get to be a part of before. I have been able to attend multiple conferences throughout the state of Virginia, as well as compete in the state and national sputum bowl in Indianapolis, Indiana in 2017.

The many lectures and therapists I have met at these events have been extremely beneficial to me as a student member from a networking and educational perspective. It has piqued my interest in getting involved in the AARC and state society in the future.

Looking ahead

One of the future events I’d like the opportunity to attend is the PACT day in Washington, D.C. I’d also like to go back to the national AARC Congress in the coming years to see how our profession as a whole is advancing.

Although this is just the beginning of my career as a respiratory therapist, I have plans to be actively involved in and out of the hospital.

Also, I plan to go back for my master’s in respiratory care leadership and I’m considering Northeastern University’s program a valuable option to consider.

Are you a student member?

Any respiratory care student enrolled in an AARC recognized or accredited educational program is eligible for Student Membership. AARC Student Membership benefits include a subscription to Respiratory Care, and more!

Student Membership Benefits

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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