Nursing graduate Maria Louise Gabriela Marinas Atrero is the latest successful passer of the National Council Licensure Examination and is the 10th registered nurse from her cohort at the Northern Marianas College.
Atrero was part of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. financial assistance program wherein she was contracted to work for CHCC for a year after graduating in May last year, take the NCLEX, and work for another two years at the hospital after passing.
“I decided to take the NCLEX earlier than usual because I was challenged when a lot of my classmates were passing. My mentality was if this person can do it, then I can do it too,” she said.
“I was supposed to take it last year, but fear and anxiety kept me from not doing it. But I realized that I cannot let fear keep me from being unlicensed so I took it last Friday (Feb. 23) and the results came out this week,” she added.
Atrero said her participation in the CHCC financial assistance program helped her a lot during her review.
“Being part of the program helped me lot. I realize that there are three types of learners— hands-on learners, kinesthetic learners, and auditory and visual learning. I am a little bit of all three but I am a little more kinesthetic,” she said.
Kinesthetic or tactile learning is a learning style in which learning takes place with the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations.
“As a student, you get hands-on experience but the clinical part is just once a week. As a graduate nurse working at CHCC, you basically do things as a registered nurse, but you need to be co-signed and supervised with most things,” she added.
Atrero learned a lot more as a graduate nurse under the program than just being a student nurse. “As a graduate nurse, there was more hand-on work and we read books on our days off and this balance helped me a lot,” she said.
“My training was two years of pre-nursing, two years of nursing, then a graduate nurse at CHCC, and now that I passed the NLCEX, I am happy to achieve registered nurse status,” she said.
CHCC CEO Esther Muña said that working with graduates like Atrero is one of the hospital’s cherished investments.
“We are very proud and elated at Maria’s success. We developed this program for our graduate nurses as we recognized the challenges the individuals have with the goal of becoming an RN while supporting their families. As an employer, it is critical that we support the nursing program from start to finish and even after they graduate with their nursing degree,” she said.
“This is an investment in our workforce and an investment in the health of our community. We are looking forward to more successes from NMC and CHCC. CHCC supports all our nurses,” she added.
After Atrero gets her official license, she looks forward to working at CHCC for two years and beyond.
“Growing up I’ve been meaning to work here at CHCC because I wanted to give back to the community and Saipan is my home and I don’t plan on living somewhere else unless I have to. Overall, I see myself living on Saipan,” she said. “When I told people I wanted to be a nurse, the initial reaction was ‘oh that’s hard,’ but after you’ve passed that point of the physical and mental challenge, everything is worth it.”