Skip to content Where Legends Are Made
The Rising Tide Apply to UA Make a Gift
Horizontal gray accent wave, below the hero image. White horizontal accent wave, without gray outline, below the hero image. Capital Campaign seal.

First Generation Future Nurse

A CCN Student-Leader & Scholarship Recipient Shares His Story

In his fourth semester of nursing school, Javier Figueroa, was selected to be the student presenter at the Capstone College of Nursing’s 2020 Scholarship Luncheon scheduled for March 27, 2020. While that event was unable to proceed as planned, Javier was able to share his story when he was selected by his classmates to be the student speaker at CCN’s December 2020 Pinning Ceremony.

The fourth of six children born to parents who emigrated from Mexico, Javier was the first in his family to attend college. Not only was he an impressive student, he was heavily involved at CCN and across campus, serving as a CCN ambassador and president of UA’s Circle K organization. Below, Javier gives us a glimpse into his background and how it has influenced his nursing journey.

What motivated you to pursue a degree in nursing?

When I was 13 years old, my two-year-old brother was in a lawnmower accident that left him without the lower half of his right leg. He spent a lot of time in the hospital and I remember going to see him every week. Because of this experience, I had always thought that I wanted to be a doctor. I later realized that the nurses were the ones who spent more time with the patients and their families. I want to be a nurse because I want to be a positive influence during what could be the most difficult part of someone’s life.

What challenges, if any, did you have to overcome in working toward your degree?

The biggest challenge I faced was trying to find the funds to pay for my education. I knew my mom would never be able to afford to pay for college. If it were not for scholarships and financial aid, I probably would not have been able to attend UA. Because of the generosity of scholarship donors, I was able to obtain my BSN without the burden of any student loans.

What motivated you to attend the Capstone College of Nursing?

When I first came to UA, I was a Biology/Pre-Med Major. After quickly realizing that I did not want to be a doctor, I changed my major to Nursing. It just so happened that UA has one of the best nursing schools in the region. I was in the perfect place to receive an education in nursing and I took advantage of the opportunity while I had it.

What was one of your favorite experiences at the Capstone?

One of my favorite memories during my time at UA was the day I received my acceptance letter to the Capstone College of Nursing. My dream of becoming a nurse was starting to come true and I will never forget opening that letter. I also remember successfully starting my first IV during my time in nursing school. To every CCN student, this is one of the biggest accomplishments because it makes us truly feel like a nurse.

How did nursing school help you grow and prepare for a career after graduation?

Nursing school was one of the most challenging things I have ever endured. CCN has a reputation for being one of the best nursing schools in the country, and I feel like I am prepared for any job I want. Not only did CCN prepare me to be a great nurse, it also prepared me to be a leader in the healthcare field. By using what I’ve learned, I hope to make a difference in whatever area of nursing I pursue.

You were the recipient of scholarships at CCN. What did that scholarship support mean to you? How did it affect your experience at CCN?

I was blessed to be the recipient of two scholarships at the Capstone College of Nursing—the Woodard Family Endowed Scholarship and the Constance and Anthony David Reinhardt Endowed Scholarship. Having this support allowed me to focus on my education instead of worrying about trying to make ends meet while in school. I was able to be involved in CCN as well as make professional connections that will carry me into my future career as a nurse.

With his goal of supporting patients through their most difficult times, Javier is sure to have a bright future ahead. Increased scholarship support for students such as Javier is critical to filling the nursing gap with caring, compassionate and competent professionals and to advancing the renown and reach of the Capstone College of Nursing.

Join the Rising Tide

Give Now