T- T T+

SOWELA Oakdale Practical Nursing Graduate Excels Through Pandemic

Jennifer Hobson Launched Her Nursing Career 10 Days Before Louisiana’s Stay-At-Home Order

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – October 8, 2021)

When SOWELA Oakdale graduate Jennifer Hobson completed her Practical Nursing degree, she had no idea a global health crisis from COVID-19 was about to unfold.

“After passing the NCLEX-PN exam, I began working as an LPN on March 13, 2020, at Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital,” shared Hobson, “This was days before the statewide stay-at-home order was issued in Louisiana.”

Fast forward a year, and Hobson then found herself working the COVID floor at Riverside Hospital. “On that floor, we had to do total care, including CNA, LPN and respiratory skills with patients on ventilators,” said Hobson. “I had five patients at a time. I learned a lot about patient care and myself. I could hear my instructor’s voice as I practiced nursing, and I understand now why she said what she did in class.”

It was a scary time to be starting a new healthcare career, one that she had dreamed of pursuing for years.

“My husband was in the military for 25 years, and since we moved a lot, I didn’t have the chance to pursue a nursing degree,” said Hobson. “When he retired, and we returned to his hometown of Oakdale, La., I decided to begin working toward that goal.”

That led her to enroll at SOWELA Oakdale’s Practical Nursing program, a nursing career path she originally had not planned to take. “Someone recommended SOWELA’s Practical Nursing program as it gives students more hands-on experience and opportunities to develop nursing skills,” said Hobson. “Plus, I have children, and the convenience of SOWELA’s Oakdale site made it a perfect place to earn my degree.”

Today, Hobson is an LPN at South Star Urgent Care. She plans to continue her education and pursue a Bachelor of Science in nursing. To individuals thinking about pursuing a nursing degree she recommends, “get into study mode, have a good support system and stay positive.”

SOWELA’s Practical Nursing program will host an informational session on Thursday, October 21, at 5:00 PM at the Oakdale site located at 117 Highway 1152, Oakdale, LA 71463. To register or learn more about the program, visit our Practical Nursing page or call (318) 335-3944.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, online, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 80 years and has locations in Jennings, Lake Charles and Oakdale, Louisiana.