Alumni returns to BC to speak

Cinthia Loera, Reporter


In spirit of homecoming week, Bakersfield College Student Alumni Nexus presented BC alumni Sandi Schwartz on Oct. 15 to speak of her accomplishments after graduating from the BC nursing program. Schwartz spoke of her most memorable experiences throughout her 41-year career as a registered nurse.

Schwartz explained how she initially wanted to become an elementary school teacher until her father pointed out that there was a lack of jobs available for that occupation. She then decided to follow in her mother and sister’s footsteps and applied for the BC nursing program.

Kern General Hospital (now KMC) was where Schwartz began her career after graduating from the nursing program and is where she received a lot of her first hands-on learning experiences.

“I never was afraid; insecure, yeah, but not afraid,” said Schwartz. “I never said no to an opportunity.”

Schwartz said she is encouraged when she sees student nurses today jumping in to take on tough opportunities and become assertive with their assessment skills. She has seen the way nurses have become equal enough to be seen as a doctor’s peer and also be respected for essentially being the doctor’s eyes and ears.

She also pointed out that she has no doubt that BC’s nursing program is just as good as any four year school’s nursing program, despite what any one might say.

Schwartz went on to explain the biggest thing nursing has been able to give her has been the ability to say she has always had a job waiting for her, no matter the circumstance.

“For me, it has gotten me 41 and a half years where I was independent…” said Schwartz. “For many years I never was afraid to lose a job.”

Schwartz wants students to know that nursing will always have a place for them if they are willing to seize the opportunity. She pointed out that, especially with the job market now, students really have to assert themselves and not be afraid of being vulnerable enough to fail and try again.

She wants students to know they can be sure of themselves and have the ability to personally get in touch with employers when they are interested in a job.

Schwartz said she felt it was important for students in any field to know how to stop relying on the online application process and to take the initiative to show off their personalities and essentially sell their skills to any potential employer.