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CU Nursing student Jourdan Thompson

Finding Purpose

Former Marine Turns to Nursing to Make a Difference

Written by Molly Smerika on May 14, 2024

A few years ago, Jourdan Thompson felt lost when he returned home to Arvada after serving in the Marine Corps. He wasn’t sure how he would adjust to civilian life.

Until he found nursing.

“I wanted to feel like I mattered in society. Everyone looks to nurses in times of need. Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system and I wanted to be a part of that,” he says. “I felt in my heart that I was supposed to do something good for the community and be a part of something like how I was in the Marines. I thought nursing could be perfect for me, and my family thought it was awesome.”

Transitioning to CU Nursing

It didn’t take long for Thompson to decide where he wanted to earn his degree. A few months after returning home, he applied to the University of Colorado College of Nursing at Anschutz Medical Campus and was accepted into the Traditional (TRAD) BS in Nursing program.

“I heard good things about CU Nursing, and I was asking family members about it,” he says. “There’s something unique about CU Nursing because you hear about the outstanding professors and faculty. I could list so many different people, but I heard how great the faculty was, and I knew my education was going to be as good as you can get.”

Thompson says his time in the Marines prepared him for the mental toughness of a nursing program.

“In the Marines, they teach you from day one that you can get through anything if you keep pushing yourself and don’t think about anything else but the task at hand,” he says. “That’s how I went through this program. I took things one day at a time, giving 100%.”

Lifelong Friendships

One thing Thompson has appreciated in his time in school was having students in the cohort together in classes at the beginning of the program. Thompson says it was easy to make friends or form study groups and create a camaraderie with other students.

“I feel like I’ve made some really good friends here, and I’m going to have them forever,” he says. “All of my friends have been through a lot. I’ve seen them cry, and be upset, but also lots of happiness, and we got through this together.”

Thompson’s group of friends have helped each other through the program by having consistent study sessions, both off-campus and on-campus.

“You can’t do this program alone, no matter how much you might want to tell yourself that you can,” he says. “It’s good to have people who actually care about you by your side. And we all want each other to succeed.”

Thompson wants to work as a critical care nurse, either in the ICU or ER. He wants to serve patients through difficult times and believes he can handle the pressure of working in a high-stress environment.

“Whoever gives me a chance will get the best version of myself,” he says.

Topics: Students, Graduation