When Career Dreams Change: How One Healthcare Student Found Her Real Passion

Written by Madison School of Healthcare On Tuesday, 26 December 2017. Posted in Healthcare Insights, Stories

When Career Dreams Change: How One Healthcare Student Found Her Real Passion

Talking to friends and family members who love their careers can make it seem like finding the ideal field is easy. But, for some people, discovering a dream career takes heading down the wrong path first. That's what happened to Kelly Tharp, who recently earned her healthcare administration degree through Madison School of Healthcare at Ashworth College.

Kelly was always interested in anatomy and health science classes in high school. She felt destined for a career in healthcare. At the time, Kelly thought that meant her calling was in nursing. 

"I always thought I wanted to do nursing, but once I got into it, I learned how open the field is. There are so many different opportunities in nursing, that's why there's such a demand for it. But, that's not what I wanted," Kelly explained.

About a year and a half into her program at a local college, Kelly decided nursing wasn't for her. She still loved healthcare, but she realized that she liked the administrative part of the field instead of the clinical side. 

Fixing a False Start

With a new career focus, Kelly started looking into degree programs that could help her launch this new career. She knew she wanted a program that would help her make the most of her time, focusing on the skills she would need in her career. Plus, there was the student loan debt she was carrying from her last program, meaning she wanted a program that was affordable.

As she was deciding what to do, Kelly recalled her sister's positive experience with Ashworth College a few years back. "I didn't want to take on more school loans. I saw (at my last college) how expensive student loans are, and how hard it is to pay them back. So, I was looking for something a lot cheaper and more affordable. Since my sister went to Ashworth, I knew how inexpensive the school is and how good the education is," Kelly said. 

An Education Without Fillers

Kelly enrolled for the associate of science degree in healthcare administration program at Madison School of Healthcare, the new healthcare school at Ashworth College. In this new program, Kelly found a perfect fit. 

"I really like that it's online. I didn't want to go back to another classroom. It's very straight to the point. You don't learn a bunch of things that you don't need to know. And, it's affordable," explained Kelly.

Kelly admits that while she wished she would have found healthcare administration right away, her unsuccessful try at nursing taught her a big lesson: do your research on your career and school before you start. "I always thought I wanted to go to nursing school. And then I saw what the life of a nurse was really like during my clinics, and I realized this wasn't for me. By that time I had wasted all that money. So, just make sure you research, and do your homework on the particular degree that you want first," she said.

How to Stay Motivated

While attending school, Kelly worked in an emergency room, assisting doctors in keeping clinical records of patients' care. The job helped Kelly gain experience as well as earn money to pay off her student loan debt from her previous college. But, working sometimes made balancing schoolwork tough.

"Working full time and trying to balance online school where you have to be 100 percent self-motivated was pretty difficult. You get home from work, and you have the option of working on school or going to bed. It can be hard to get the computer out," recalled Kelly. To fight off the feeling of giving in and going to bed, Kelly said she kept thinking about her future career and all the possibilities it could open. She kept her goal in mind knowing even if she was tired or frustrated at the moment, all she was doing to juggle work and school would pay off in the end.

And, it did! Kelly graduated, earned her degree and reached her goal of earning a degree in healthcare administration. In one word she said it was "fulfilling." The experience was so great that Kelly plans to go back to school once more. "I'm looking to go into human resources in the healthcare field, and it's great to know that I have Ashworth to go back to so I can obtain more degrees."

Are you thinking about going back to school? Our Admission Advisors are happy to answer any questions and walk you through the process. Call us at 1-800-957-5412 or request more information online.

About the Author

Madison School of Healthcare

Our community comes first – explore our student- and alumni-contributed content to get the inside look at online learning, healthcare careers, and beyond. We share real perspectives from healthcare students, professionals, and industry experts to keep you up to date on the healthcare space and set you up for success in your career.