“Nursing is a great career with so many opportunities and avenues for you to choose.”
— Jonathan Ballard // SSU Class of 2015 and SOMC Care Center Nurse
Jonathan Ballard says he always knew that his nursing journey would include becoming a nurse practitioner.
He took his education one step at a time, first earning his LPN licensure and then graduating from Shawnee State’s two-year associate’s degree in nursing program in 2015. As an RN in Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Emergency Department, he continued his education and became a nurse practitioner in 2019.
“I knew when I started in nursing that my goal was always to further my education and become a nurse practitioner,” he said. “I like being more involved in the treatment and outcomes of my patients. That’s what drew me to this field.”
During the pandemic, Jonathan joined the SOMC Care Center, a new service that provides telehealth care, general medical advice, and COVID-19 related assistance to the community.
“This is a new role that we started in response to the pandemic and the questions that our patients had about COVID-19,” he said. “We’ve grown a lot in the past few months and are here to provide greater access and convenience to our patients.”
Jonathan said that the pandemic has stressed a vital aspect of nursing — the ability to be flexible.
“Situations in healthcare change daily, hourly – and sometimes every second. Flexibility is one of the most important skills you need.”
Jonathan encourages those seeking a rewarding career with vast opportunities to consider nursing. His advice to potential students is to find a nursing program that is the right fit and will prepare you for success.
“Students have lots of options,” he said. “I chose Shawnee State because of its good reputation. The instructors at Shawnee were engaging, easy to get in touch with, and always willing to help. I enjoyed being a part of the program. My professors and clinical instructors were invested in my education and really cared about my career. I think that’s what sets Shawnee apart.”