When Quenna Kovar awoke in the ICU after being life-flighted from a car wreck, it just so happened that her nurse was an MACC alum. In the haze of her pain, she remembers quite clearly being excited to watch the nurse caring for her injuries knowing that she would be starting the MACC Associate Degree Nursing Program in just a few months and that someday she would be returning the favor to her own patients. That was in 2007 and Quenna Kovar made good on her promise to return the favor. She is now a circulating nurse in the Operating Room at Boone Hospital and one of her main jobs is patient advocacy. She educates patients about their procedures, sits with them through out the surgery and cares for them post-op.
Quenna’s hugely rewarding career began with certified nurse assistant (CNA) classes she took in high school at the Columbia Career Center.
“I had an awesome nursing instructor at the Columbia Career Center that really made nursing real for me,” she said.
Using her CNA license, Quenna got a job at Boone Hospital as a nurse tech. She worked with nurses and learned what they did on a daily basis. Watching them administer meds and care for patients fueled her desire to continue her education.
Quenna chose Moberly Area Community College because she was an A+ student from Hickman High School. She basically earned her nursing degree for free through that scholarship. MACC was also close to home for her. She attended the Columbia location for her general education classes and then commuted to Moberly for the actual nursing program.
MACC’s Allied Health Programs are notoriously difficult. And Quenna’a experience was not unique.
“The curriculum was very difficult, but it made the transition from nurse tech to RN very easy. Over the course of the program, we took hundreds of difficult tests, however at the end of the program when we had to take the big NCLEX exam, it made it less stressful. And I passed on the first time,” Quenna explained.
“So if you’re excited about going to nursing school, it’s worth it. All of the hours and the tests and everything you put into it is definitely worth it when you’re sitting there with your patient, holding their hand telling them it will be okay, telling them what to expect in surgery and afterwards, and teaching them how to take care of themselves when they go home. The gratitude the patient and family gives you makes it all worth it,” said Quenna.
Quenna and many of her fellow MACC Nursing Program alums that work at Boone Hospital are in the process of earning their Bachelor’s of Nursing at area four-year institutions.
“The instructors in MACC’s Nursing Program really do care about the students. They told us, ‘We don’t want average people taking care of us, so we’re making sure you’re exceptional nurses.’ And we are!” commented Quenna.