Jennifer Froscher and Tahani Amareen are soon to be proud Tidewater Community College Nursing graduates. They started in the program during the pandemic, desiring to help their community when the need was great.
Their cohort, which usually has 60 students, started with 29 because of the limited clinical spots available in busy hospitals. They are among 22 nursing students graduating this December.
Jennifer Froscher’s story
Jennifer is following her mother and grandmother into nursing.
“I was in second grade when mom started nursing school. She’d bring me to lectures and I’d color or read while she learned,” Jennifer said. “It made an impression when she became a nurse at 41.”
Jennifer, too, is on track to become a nurse at 41. This December she will walk the stage during fall commencement and earn an Associate of Science in Nursing.
“The nursing program is extensive because you have to be able to understand what is happening to people physiologically to be able to help them,” she said. “There were a lot of tears that first semester. I had to change my critical thinking process and learn to think like a nurse.”
For the past decade, Jennifer has worked in the health professions, first as an Emergency Medical Technician and later as a Nurse Aide. She currently works as a Care Partner at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in the neurology Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
TCC’s nursing program includes clinical rotations in area hospitals and clinics. Jennifer completed her training at Sentara as a nurse in training in that ICU unit.
“I’m so thankful to get this degree. I’m prepared to go into the workforce and be a competent nurse,” she said. “That’s absolutely critical when you are dealing with people’s lives.”
Jennifer says that her education was very personal and her professors were dedicated to her success. “Your professors know you and can tell you exactly what to work on to become proficient,” Jennifer said. “And while they can be tough, they match that with great caring and professional experience.”
Jennifer has already been offered a full-time nursing position in the ICU where she currently works.
“I’m excited to get started,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been everyone’s kid sister and now I get to be a nurse working with people I enjoy in a place I’m very comfortable. It’s a real gift.”
Tahani Amareen’s story
While Tahani was on Tidewater Community College’s Portsmouth Campus working on her Associate of Science in Science, she met a lot of students who were in the nursing program.
“I started thinking about my path and I could see myself as a nurse. So, I completed one degree and started again,” Tahani said.
Fast forward two years and Tahani, 22, is earning her second degree – this one in nursing. She is concurrently working on her bachelor’s in nursing through Old Dominion University.
A native of Palestine, Tahani came to the United States when she was eight. When it was time for college, she followed her brothers to TCC, where they both earned Information System Technology degrees.
“I think it’s important to give back to the community and help out as much as possible,” she said. “With the nursing shortage, I know I’m definitely needed.”
The Chesapeake resident says that she was a little nervous about her clinical rotations at the start. “It’s a little nerve racking going in with no experience, but each opportunity helped me gain confidence in working in the hospital setting.”
Tahani is planning to work on a medical-surgical unit to start but would one day like to work with children. “I’m passionate about this work,” she said. “I look forward to being a helping hand in the community.”