Arkansas State University - Newport

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February 2019

#MyASUNstory: Viola Henderson

For the first installment of #MyASUNstory, Viola Henderson shared her journey to nursing school. 

"I’ve always knew I wanted to work in healthcare," Henderson said. 

In 2002, Henderson completed ASU-Newport's CNA program. With the help of Career Pathways, she was able to start her career in healthcare at no cost. 

Henderson has worked as a CNA for 17 years but always wanted to go back to school. However, her family came first.

"When I very first started to go back to be a nurse my children were smaller at the time," Henderson said. "So it was pretty difficult, pretty trying to try and balance work and family and school."

Henderson raised her two sons on her own and has always depended on herself to manage bills and the household. Once her sons got older, she figured it was time to consider going back to school. 

"I had to step out on faith, but it worked out," Henderson said. "I went back to school a semester after my baby boy graduated."

Henderson's sons are now 20 and 22 and she is halfway through the Practical Nursing program at ASU-Newport. Henderson said she chose ASU-Newport for a few reasons. 

"ASU-Newport was financially more feasible," Henderson said. "The schedule was better, and I heard great things about the instructors." 

She is counting down the days to graduation in May, but she isn't stopping there. 

"I plan on entering the ARNEC program here and becoming an RN and getting experience in the hospital setting," Henderson said. 

Her ultimate goal in life is to become a traveling nurse and help people not only nationally but internationally.